This Dutch electric car cleans the air while driving: Here’s how!


A team of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology have created a unique concept EV that actually cleans the air as it travels. The ‘Zem’ electric car is a prototype that absorbs CO2 produced by other vehicles on the road using a special filtration system. The Dutch college students got the idea after they decided to tackle the challenge of building a carbon-neutral vehicle a year ago. The team applied the same ethos throughout the prototype’s build process from the ground-up.

Picture credit: tuecomotive.nl

Picture credit: tuecomotive.nl

The majority of the ‘Zem’ EV, such as its monocoque chassis and body panels were 3D printed to minimise its carbon footprint and reduce waste. The interiors feature parts made out of recycled plastics but that does not mean the Zem is a basic prototype. It features a modular cabin complete with infotainment and electronics. In terms of drivetrain, the concept EV is fitted with a 22 kWh motor that uses regenerative braking for maximum efficiency.

Picture credit: tuecomotive.nl

Picture credit: tuecomotive.nl

However, the highlight of the Zem EV is its CO2 munching capabilities. The special CO2 filters sit behind the vehicle’s large air dam at the front. The polluted air directly flows in and gets captured in the filters. The ecomotive team of 35 students, calls it ‘direct air capture technology’. It has been reported that the filtration system can absorb up to 2 kg of CO2 for every 20,000 miles it travels. The EV also has solar panels integrated into the hood and roof of the prototype to utilise alternative energy.

Picture credit: tuecomotive.nl

Picture credit: tuecomotive.nl

While the students do not intend to patent the technology, they do hope that mainstream manufacturers take inspiration from the Zem and work on similar solutions that can be much more effective in the long run. What are your thoughts on the Zem? Tell us in the comments below.





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