Mandalaki Studio teamed up with Italian car company Estrima to design the "first" electric concept car made from 80 per cent recycled plastics.
The Birò O2 car was presented at the Rossana Orlandi Gallery during Milan design week, as part of the gallerist's Ro Plastic Prize that invited designers to develop new ways of recycling and reusing plastic.
According to its creators, the O2 model is an electric car made with a higher percentage of recycled plastic than any other vehicle on the market.
The O2 concept is based on the original Birò car – a fully electric vehicle designed for commuting in the city, which is compact enough to be parked in scooter spaces and features a removable battery.
Instead of the thick, high-density ABS plastic used for the main body of the original model, Mandalaki's Birò O2 gives waste plastics a new life by recycling them into a non-polluting vehicle.
"As a design studio, we are fascinated by the automotive world and, in general, by the world of performance," said Mandalaki designer Enrico De Lotto.
"We try to develop projects that can have a real impact on people's lives, and not just make things that are nice to look at – projects should be functional and solve needs."
"For this reason we started to work on the idea of electric mobility elevated at the maximum stage of sustainability, and thought that Birò could be the perfect partner to develop this concept because its model is extremely minimal," he continued.
"From here we began thinking about the elements of a car that we could do without, or that we could recycle," added De Lotto. "Less parts means less plastic, less things to produce, less weight to move, and so on."
After discovering the large amount of waste left by road maintenance, such as cones and signboards, Mandalaki began working with suppliers to see which of these elements they could recycle.
These plastic waste elements were ground into a fine powder and put through a rotational moulding process to form the structural parts of the vehicle, including the front and rear components and the rear hatch.
All other elements of the car, such as the seats, the tachometer, steering wheel and doors, have been produced from various types of non-recycled plastic, chiefly thermo-formed PVC.
The exterior recycled plastic panels boast a computer-generated pattern comprising blue flecks, inspired by the motion of the wind and ocean in a bid to represent "the vital flow of our planet".
The vehicle boasts a powerful electric engine that is able to reach a top speed of 65 kilometres per hour, and can travel 100 kilometres on each charge.
Mandalaki studio and Estrima aim to make the O2 model available on the market by June 2019, and are also working towards a car produced from 100 per cent recycled parts by the end of the next year.
The Birò O2 car was presented at the Rossana Orlandi Gallery during this year's Milan design week, where British designer Bethan Gray showed her collection of iridescent furniture clad in leftover materials from the seafood and farming industries.