The Netherlands’ sporty all-electric car looks like a BMW coupe, but it’s unique: It captures more carbon than it emits.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a more sustainable future,” said Jens Lahaje, finance manager at TU/Ecomotive, the Eindhoven University of Technology student team that built the car.
Called the ZEM for Zero Emissions Mobility, the two-seater houses a Cleantron lithium-ion battery pack, and most of its parts are 3D-printed from recycled plastics, Lahaije said.
The goal is to reduce the carbon dioxide emitted during the entire lifetime of the car, from manufacturing to recycling, he said.
Battery electric vehicles emit virtually no CO2 during operation when compared to vehicles with combustion engines, but battery cell production can generate so much pollution that EVs need to be in order to achieve “carbon parity” with comparable fossil-fueled models. Thousands of miles may have to be covered.
The Eindhoven team estimates that the ZEM uses two filters that can capture up to 2 kilograms (4.41 pounds) of CO2 over 20,000 miles of driving. They envision a future when the filters at charging stations can be emptied.
Students show their vehicles to universities and companies on a promotional tour of America from the East Coast to Silicon Valley.
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