We've got an unusual story for you in this week's Vehicle Plastic Recycling blog...
“Squirrels ate my Eco-car!”
Tony Steeles, from Croydon, South London, has claimed that hungry Squirrels ate his new Toyota Aygo! Tony claims that his tasty little motor was damaged in several areas, including a chewed aerial, rubber trims and oxygen sensor.
In ordinary circumstances, a car would surely be inedible, however, with this Eco car being made with various natural products, like peanut oil, castor oil and tomato skins, you can see why the Squirrels tucked in!
The car dealer Mr Steeles bought the Aygo from has expressed their doubt at the link between rodent attacks and bio-plastics. Toyota, however have confirmed that they will ‘investigate if any improvements can be made to the design of our products to deter rodents’.
After four or five trips to the dealership to repair the damage, the dealership eventually traded in Tony's Aygo for a new Yaris, which he now stores in his garage, just to be safe.
Vehicle plastic recycling is coming on leaps and bounds, and it's not just Toyota using natural materials to create bio-plastics. Ford, BMW and Citroen are just some of the automotive giants exploring whether their cars can be improved with edible substances. Food for thought...
Smart released prototype images for the new ForTwo back in July 2014, with the release date due to be around spring this year. The new editions wont look vastly different to the micro-cars we have become accustomed to though noticable new features include a larger bonnet and a smaller turning circle.
The engine has been improved by a team effort from Mercedes and Renault, returning 68.9MPG and a top speed of 94Mph. An electric version of the Smart ForTwo and it's big brother, the ForFour, is expected even later in the year.
Now, the reason for being featured in our Vehicle Plastic Recycling section. The ForTwo is partially made of plastic, mostly in the outer panels to cover a 'tridon cell' steel framework that provides excellent strength.
But it's not just that the panels are made of plastic that makes this car so interesting to Vehicle Plastic Recycling.
It's in the design. The outer panels were designed to be easily changeable, perhaps for repairs, or to change the colour and bring new life to the vehicle's appearance. It's said to be so easy to the change the panels that anyone could do it. It's more interesting for the end of life recycling of these car, because when the day comes, panels can be simply removed and reprocessed.