Dutch students devise carbon-eating EV

Sporty electric vehicle (EV) driven by Dutch student with logos on the side (carbon)
ZEM electric vehicle

The sporty new EV from the Netherlands resembles a BMW coupe, but is unique by virtue of the fact it consumes more carbon than it emits.

“Our end goal is to create a more sustainable future,” said Jens Lahaije, finance manager for TU/ecomotive, the Eindhoven University of Technology student team that created the EV.

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Called ZEM, for zero emission mobility, the two-seater houses a Cleantron lithium-ion battery pack, and most of its parts are 3D-printed from recycled plastics, Lahaije told Reuters.

The target is to minimise carbon dioxide emitted during the EV’s full lifespan, from manufacturing to recycling, he added.

Battery EVs emit virtually no CO2 during operation compared with combustion-engine vehicles, but battery cell production can create so much pollution that it can take EVs tens of thousands of miles to achieve “carbon parity” with comparable fuelled models. 

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ZEM uses two filters that can capture up to 2kg of carbon dioxide over 20,000 miles of driving, the Eindhoven team estimated. They imagine a future when filters can be emptied at charging stations.

The students are showing their vehicle on a US promotional tour to universities and companies from the East Coast to Silicon Valley.

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