Mobility  |  Successes  |  23.04.2013

The CARMA Project: A bicycle made from cars from the scrapheap

The CARMA Project is a Portugal-based outfit which attempted the feat of making a bicycle almost entirely out of parts and scrap from a disused Mercedes. The idea is that the 'karma' of all the miles the car has driven are balanced out by equaling that total on the newly-constructed bicycle.

"We can't change the past dominated by cars but we can make up for it!" proclaims CARMA Project creator Leo Burnett Lisbon. Established in conjunction with the B - Cultura da Bicicleta, a Portuguese cycling magazine, CARMA attempts to reverse the 'bad karma' built up over the old Mercede's lifetime (some 159,768 kilometres) through recycling the disused car parts and constructing a brand new bicycle. They sought to use as much material from the Merc as possible, even going so far as to use the car's upholstery to make a basket on the front or the door handles for brakes.

Importantly, the bike is not for sale but will rather be shared so that that everyone can have their turn at reaching the target. The bicycle, then, not only carries the green message of recycling and promotes alternative modes of transport but hints at the possibilities of collaborative consumption. 

In so doing they posit interesting questions about the future of mobility in a carbon-constrained world. 


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