A team from Eindhoven Technical University built a prototype of a passenger electric vehicle that not only does not cause significant damage to the environment, but also captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere directly during the journey.
The Zem team created a monocoke and a body panel using additive manufacturing technologies that reduce material losses in creation and select "as little carbon dioxide as possible" using recycled plastic, the residues of which can be used in other projects.
Reprocessed plastic is also used in the lounge, along with eco-resistant materials such as banana skin, an alternative to the real skin produced from cellulose fibres of pineapple leaves. Windows instead of glass are produced from polycarbonate, the team claims that its use is less harmful to the environment. A modular information and entertainment system, modular electronics and modular lighting can be extracted and used in other products if necessary.
During the journey, the electric vehicle Zem does not release carbon dioxide. It is known that there are nine traction batteries with a capacity of 2.3 kWh, an engine of 22 kW and an old differential from Audi with a relatively high gear ratio to increase torque. It is also known that a regenerative braking system is used to "extract" from batteries a little more energy in use. Solar power components are integrated into a number of surfaces. In addition, a two-directed charging system and digital mirrors are used to reduce road air resistance.
The visible part of the cleaning system looks like a standard radiator grate. In fact, it takes air to clean it up. According to developers, every 20600 km of mileage at a speed of about 60 km/h, about 2 kg of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. Although one machine will have little effect on the atmosphere, a massive application of technology can make a contribution to the decarbonization of the planet possible.
The Zem filter is filled after 320 km of road; these filters can be cleaned using green energy and the captured CO2 will blend into cylinders at charging stations; however, it is not yet known what to do with carbon dioxide, but some green projects allow it to be used in industry and even to create eco-sustainable fuels and plastics.
So far, the project is only proof of concept, but in the future it is planned to increase filter cleaning capacity. At the end of the life cycle, the electric vehicle is planned to use its components as efficiently as possible. In August, Zem team members will go on a special tour of U.S. universities and manufacturers in an attempt to challenge them and develop similar solutions.