UNIVERSITY students have turned their concept car into a reality by making a solar-powered electric vehicle that absorbs more carbon than it releases.
The students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands recently debuted their coupe, which they hope will show a path forward for carbon-neutral vehicles.
“We have implemented so many technologies into one car to really show what it can all do together,” Louise de Laat, team manager of the project, told CNN.
The electric car was invented to cut waste, and the body and frame of the vehicle are 3D-printed using recycled plastic.
The interior is fitted with vegan leather made from pineapples.
Students hope that their innovative technology could replace existing vehicles in the future.
The name of the vehicle is Zem, which stands for zero emissions mobility.
Students were able to obtain partner sponsors like Dutch company Cleantron, a lithium-ion battery company, and Watllab, a solar panels company,
In terms of measurement, the team is conducting a lifecycle analysis with SimaPro software to calculate the carbon emissions from the construction to use in the afterlife of the car.
Zem carries two filters under the car beside the front wheels
As air travels through the filter as the car is driving, CO2 will stick to a special grain inside the filter.
The filter needs to be cleaned every 200 miles, so the team created a custom EV charging station where carbon can be easily extracted.
It is then easily reusable to produce other fuels like clean hydrogen.
Although the project is still new and not fully developed, Zem demonstrated the concept successfully, the students say.
Laat said he intended to continue developing and improving the carbon capture technology in a startup.
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