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Dutch students devise carbon-eating electric vehicle

Dutch students devise carbon-eating electric vehicle
The Zero Emission Mobility (ZEM) car, that captures more carbon dioxide (CO2) than it emits, is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and made mostly from recycled plastics, is pictured at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands in this undated handout image.
PHOTO: Reuters

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The sporty all-electric car from the Netherlands resembles a BMW coupe, but is unique: It captures 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 car.

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 said.

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

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Battery electric vehicles 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 fossil-fueled models.

ZEM uses two filters that can capture up to 2 kilograms (4.41 lb) of CO2 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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