March 12, 2018

Dutch university reveals world’s first circular car

Filed under: Automobiles,Dutch first,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 3:22 pm


Last month, students from the Eindhoven University of Technology revealed ‘Noah’, the world’s first circular car. Noah is made of entirely recyclable material that is easy to disassemble. The two-seater weighs 350 kilogrammes and is powered by six modular batteries. In July the students will demonstrate that Noah is also a practical road legal car.

The plan is also to prove that circularity (true sustainability) is already possible for complicated products like cars. The design team will use renewable resources to further develop bio based materials, drive fully electric and design Noah to be recycled, making Noah the most sustainable car in the world.

Noah’s motors have a power of 15kW, to reach a speed of about 100 km/h and a total range of 240 kilometres. At the end of the lifecycle, the car will be fully recyclable, lowering the need for raw materials and giving the used materials a new life.

(Link and image:

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January 18, 2018

Films of things blowing away in Netherlands

Filed under: Architecture,Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 1:54 pm

Trains have stopped, planes are grounded, a lot of public transport is interrupted, a lot of bikes and scooters outside 24HQ have tipped over, and there’s a whole lot of Dutch reports of different things being blown around. Here’s a selection:

Here’s a video of all kinds of stuff blowing over.

See what happens to these solar panels.

And who needs the gym when you can do exercises with your car door.

Some people couldn’t take their train this morning because a trampoline rammed a train in South Holland.

UPDATE: This roof blowing off in Rotterdam Charlois is quite spectacular.

(Photo of solar panels by Mhassan Abdollahi, some rights reserved)

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December 5, 2017

Road sign riddle in Zaltbommel

Filed under: Animals,Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 6:28 pm


These signs spotted in Zaltbommel, Noord-Brabant look like more of a riddle than actual road signs, but the worse part is, they say exactly what the municipality needed to say: no horseback riders.

Why not a sign with a horseback rider and a red stripe around it sort of business like with other types of road signs? Because the sign that expresses no horseback riders isn’t an official sign any more by law, although one was actually put one on the shoulder ‘to make things clear’. By law, horseback riders are now considered agriculture vehicles even if the vehicles in question don’t require horses.

The top sign in this image is ‘road closed to horseback riders, cattle, motor vehicles and motorbikes that cannot go faster than 25 kph and microcars, as well as cyclists, scooters and handicapped vehicles’. The bottom sign says ‘except’ (the ‘U’ in the word ‘uitzondering’ (‘exception’) in Dutch should be lower case) and then the same pictograms, but excluding the horseback riders.

(Link and image:

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November 7, 2017

World’s first hybrid mobile crane is Dutch

Filed under: Automobiles,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 8:14 pm


Crane manufacturer Spierings from Oss, Noord-Brabant will be presenting the world’ first hybrid mobile crane, a zero-emission vehicle, with the exception of using a small diesel motor on the motorway. Its SK487-AT3 City Boy will be unveiled on 18 November to guests from around the world.

The SK487-AT3 City Boy was specially designed for an urban environment where environmental requirements are increasingly higher. It is modular, runs on electricity, and is easily manoeuvrable in typically narrow Dutch streets and busy cities. Like a hybrid car, the SK487-AT3 can be charged up and can also run on its own battery for a few hours.

(Link and photo:

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October 13, 2017

Dutch win third World Solar Challenge 2017

Filed under: Automobiles by Orangemaster @ 3:33 pm


This week the Nuon Dutch team won a 3,000-kilometre solar car race across Australia’s outback for the third-straight year with the Nuna 9 car (not pictured here), travelling at an average speed of 81.2 kilometres per hour. The car pictured here is a Cruiser class Stella Lux, another solar-powered Dutch car that wins races.

This year, the team’s winning time was 37 hours, 10 minutes and 41 seconds. When their team finished first in 2015, it took them 33.03 hours. This year they had to compensate for severe wind gusts.

The win is the seventh for Nuon, with their car overcoming cloudy skies as they took the lead early and stayed ahead in the elite Challenger class, which features slick, single seat aerodynamic vehicles built for sustained endurance and total energy efficiency.

(Link:, Photo of Cruiser class Stella Lux by Bart van Overbeeke/

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September 10, 2017

What happened to the Superbus?

Filed under: Automobiles,Sustainability,Technology by Branko Collin @ 5:05 pm


It was a crazy idea that might just work—the Superbus, a cross between a Formula One car and good old public transport.

The Superbus was one of the many sustainable inventions that Delft technology professor and former astronaut Wubbo Ockels either came up with or helped develop. It would have comfortably carried 23 passengers in bucket seats on a custom built road between Amsterdam and Groningen, cutting current travel times to shreds.

But even before Ockels’ death in 2014 the Superbus had disappeared off of the world’s radar. It’s website is still up, but hasn’t been updated since 2012, with the exception of an obituary for Ockels. And where did the actual prototype go? Dagblad van het Noorden decided to find out last June.

The prototype is currently stored in a warehouse at the University of Delft, where it was developed. A spokesperson for the university told the paper: “The bus is still in a good condition, although it can no longer be driven. We had to remove the batteries for safety reasons, for example.”

Ockels’ widow Joos told the paper that it would take several months to get the bus roadworthy again. She receives regular calls from people and organisations that want to rent the vehicle for a trip.

The bus’ license plate expired in 2014.

Several organisations have expressed interest for exhibiting the Superbus. The Transport Museum in Lelystad however has to first overcome the obstacle of not yet existing, and a plan to store it in a facility of Stichting Wadduurzaam (presumably so that it could be displayed to the public) failed because the storage space would have to be fixed first, which would be too costly.

See also: Dutch spaceman Wubbo Ockels dies.

(Photo by Jan Oosterhuis, some rights reserved)

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September 2, 2017

Volkswagen disses ‘our nation of cyclists’

Filed under: Automobiles,Sports by Orangemaster @ 7:49 pm


During the World Cup qualifiers in Seine-Saint-Denis just north of Paris last Thursday, Volkswagen France thought it appropriate to diss the entire country of the Netherlands with some advertising that read “We’re not going to let a nation of cyclists block our path”. Remember, this advertising was approved by the French Football Federation.

While it’s true the French team had no problems moving the Dutch team out of the way with a 4-0 victory, French social media and surely others weren’t impressed with what Volkswagen called “humour”. ‘It was just a joke’ is the classic response people give after they get caught saying something stupid.

Volkswagen was quick in issuing a formal apology in French, claiming they’re cycling fans as well.

We’re talking about this because we speak French, but the Dutch press isn’t talking about this yet, so you may have read it here in English first. Maybe Volkswagen needs to learn what “speel op de bal, niet op de man” (roughly, ‘kick the ball, not the man’) means.

Cher Volkswagen France, on ne va pas laisser une entreprise qui ment au public depuis des années nous dire des conneries.

(Dear Volkwagen France, we’re not going to let a company that has been lying to the public for years talk rubbish about us.)

(Link and photo:

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August 12, 2017

Canta manufacturer has run out of parts for popular disability vehicle

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 5:21 pm


The iconic Canta mobility vehicle is no longer being produced, Volkskrant reports.

Last week the last Canta ever rolled off the conveyor belt at the Waaijenberg factory in Veenendaal. The manufacturer told the newspaper they are having troubles sourcing parts. Especially the moulds are worn out. Waaijenberg will use the few parts they still have for repairs.

Cantas have been coming under fire recently, with the city of Amsterdam wanting to ban them from the pavement. In a bizarre twist and for reasons unknown, the city even tried to take away Cantas from their users, for whom the microcar often means the difference between being able to live a full life and being condemned to wasting away at home.

Cantas are allowed to drive on the pavement, the bike path and the main road. They are made to measure for their drivers. A few are privately owned (and end up on the market), but most are property of the government. They often come in Ferrari racing red, although other colours are possible. In total 4,645 were produced in the past 22 years.

Waaijenberg expect to present a successor later this year.

See also: Canta, the little can-do car

Photo of a Canta on a bike path by Tjerk Zweers, some rights reserved.

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May 20, 2017

Policeman tracks ‘unsuspecting’ bike thief

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 8:34 pm

Recently a policeman in Leiden was tracking a stolen bicycle that appeared to be very close to where he was driving in his cop van. He followed it around because dispatch told him that the bicycle was nearby, tracking it using a GPS signal, as it was a bicycle cops use to lure bike thieves in order to catch them, a ‘bait bike’.

Then he spotted another van that possibly had the stolen bike in it, followed it, and stopped it. However, once the van pulled over, the policeman figured out that the stolen bike was in the back of the police van he was driving, and promptly became the joke of the day at the police station.

The policeman in question usually bikes on the job, but on this day, he decided to use a van. While he was driving, dispatch told him about the stolen bike, but then they didn’t seem to know it was in the back of the van in the first place.

(, Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

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May 15, 2017

Speed camera mistakenly fines a thousand cars

Filed under: Automobiles,IT by Orangemaster @ 9:56 pm

A Dutch speed camera in Alkmaar fined cars going through green and yellow lights by mistake because it literally had its wires crossed. Anyone who blew through red lights wasn’t punished at all in the meantime. This lasted a whole week in February, with almost 1300 cars getting fined 239 euro a piece for obeying the law.

After the speed camera was repaired, it simply wasn’t tested and the wires stayed crossed. The speed camera was eventually turned off in February and hasn’t been repaired since. According to RTL, it takes pictures if someone speeds, but does nothing for anyone blowing through red lights. The government has agreed to give people money back in the case of going through green and yellow lights.

Back in 2015 we told you about how rubbish Dutch speed cameras are with foreign plates, and told you that “speeding is dangerous, and apparently the Dutch government doesn’t feel that road safety is a priority.”

(Link:, Photo by Heiloo Online, some rights reserved)

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