TU Eindhoven student team TU/Ecomotive has developed a sustainable electric passenger car that captures more carbon dioxide (CO₂) than it emits while driving. It is a prototype, called Zem, that purifies the air through a special filter. By storing the captured CO₂ and then disposing of it, Zem can contribute to reducing global warming. The students will continue to improve the vehicle in the coming years, to make it carbon-neutral for its entire life cycle and eventually hit the road.
Zem – The Carbon Footprint Controller
Ten Zem cars can store as much carbon as an average tree due to their capacity to capture 2 kilograms of CO₂ through a special filter at 20,000 travel miles per year. While it may not seem like much, the overall payoff is significant if you were to soon implement it on a large scale in every passenger car, the team says.
The filter through which the outside air flows is unique. Meanwhile, the students are currently in the process of applying for a patent for this innovation. “It is still a proof-of-concept, but we can already see that we will be able to increase the capacity of the filter in the coming years. Capturing CO₂ is a prerequisite for compensating for emissions during production and recycling,” explains team manager Louise de Laat.
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“We want to tickle the industry by showing what is already possible. And working together. If 35 students can design, develop and build an almost carbon-neutral car in a year, then there are also opportunities and possibilities for the industry.” Says Nikki Okkels, external relations manager at TU/Ecomotive.
“We call on the industry to pick up the challenge, and of course, we are happy to think along with them. We’re not finished developing yet either, and we want to take some big steps in the coming years. We warmly invite car manufacturers to come and take a look.”
Another latest technology offered by Zem is bi-directional charging. The bi-directional charging technology makes it possible for cars to provide energy to houses when no renewable energy is being generated at that moment.
The bi-directional charging technology has been paired with solar panels that are implemented on the roof of the car. In this way, Zem makes use of both the batteries and the space on the roof to make the vehicle and its surroundings more sustainable, even when it is not driving.
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