Racing team builds race car from e-waste

Formula E team Envision Racing partnered with British artist and designer Liam Hopkins to design and build a car entirely of donated electronic products by the UK tech business, Music Magpie and school children.

The full-size, drivable Formula E Gen3 ‘Recover-E’ car made entirely out of electronic waste (e-waste) at the ExCeL in London on the eve of the capital’s e-prix race. 

The e-waste car is drivable.

Through this campaign, the team wants to increase awareness of the human impact of e-waste and the need to reuse and recycle old electrical products.

“Alongside testing new battery technology for cars, we are on a mission to tackle e-waste and ensure the precious metals, minerals and materials in old laptops, mobile phones and other electrical devices are extracted and reused,” said Sylvain Filippi, Envision Racing’s managing director and CTO.

“If the millions upon millions of lithium batteries that are found in vapes and other products are recycled, it will dramatically reduce both the need for rare earth mineral mining and the large energy needed to create the batteries from scratch. We want to increase awareness of e-waste and help build a ‘circular economy’ where electrical products are reused or recycled, not thrown away.”

The car was unveiled in London on the eve of the final race of the 2022/23 Formula E season. In addition to being the all-time leading points scorer in Formula E, Envision Racing also has a leadership position for sustainability. Its pioneering Race Against Climate Change program aims to inspire and empower fans and the wider public to take climate action.

Hopkins said, “Unfortunately today we choose to discard and replace electronics instead of repairing and recycling them leading to a global e-waste crisis. Through design and creativity, we want to show the issue of e-waste and its potential to accelerate the creation of a circular economy”.

Alongside the car, Envision Racing launched the Recover E Waste to Race competition, to engage young people and fans around the world. Children and young people were invited to create their own e-waste car, made out of recycled electronic materials.

Winners in three categories included 10 year olds Edie Griffin, Chidubem Ngene, Liam Mount, Nora Popoola and Olivia Ho from Abbott Community Primary School in Manchester, Monteor Popocatl Angelica Mirian, 14 years old from Mexico, and Hera May, 17 years old from the Philippines.