This Concept EV Eats Carbon

A team of Dutch engineering students created an electric car that actually cleans the air around it as it drives. How else are EVs getting greener?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Sep 30, 2022
Electric cars
are an integral part of the global plan to cut down on CO2 emissions, but they aren’t perfect. Producing the vehicles and their
batteries
still pollutes the atmosphere, not to mention creating the energy needed to charge them.
But a group of students in the Netherlands has taken EV technology one step further by creating a car that removes carbon out of the air while it's driving. 
The filters, along with the sustainable components used to build the car, help bring the car down to true zero-emissions status.
Jerry
, your car insurance super app, took a closer look at the project and other innovations making their way into EVs.

The ZEM, the first carbon-eating car

EVs have come a long way in the last few years, but their individual impact on the environment hasn’t changed much. Battery components are still made up of precious metals mined using unsustainable practices. Pollution created during assembly hasn’t improved much either.
TU/ecomotive, a team of Dutch students from the Eindhoven University of Technology, set out to change that when they developed the ZEM. The sporty electric two-seater, whose name stands for “zero emissions mobility,” doesn’t solve all the industry’s problems, but it helps nonetheless.
Reuters
says it uses an extra light battery pack made by fellow Dutch company Cleantron, and its parts are mostly made out of recycled plastics and formed by
3D printers
.
But the most impressive aspect of the car introduces something completely new to the EV scene—carbon filters. These filters can capture up to two kilograms of carbon from the air over 20,000 miles of driving.

Other headway in the world of EVs

The students at Eindhoven University have some pretty forward-thinking ideas, but they aren’t the only ones. Innovators all over the world are working to improve the sustainability of electric vehicles. Some of them are doing it right here in the U.S.
A major area of focus right now is the component structure of EV batteries. The lithium-ion packs in most EVs right now use rare metals like cobalt, lithium, and graphite that are controlled by China and are extracted using emissions-high mining practices.
Washington-based
Sila
and other companies are working to use more sustainable materials like silicon to lighten the impact of EV production on the environment while others are focusing on improving charging times so batteries don’t have to be so large.

Will cleaner EVs be affordable as well?

It seems like a silly question to ask. How is the environmental impact of a car connected to its cost of ownership? But these two issues are linked more closely than you think. 
A lot of the issues facing EV production like battery components and size negatively impact both sides of the equation. The bigger the battery pack, the more expensive and pollution-heavy materials are needed. Reducing these components will make EVs cleaner and cheaper.
The jury is still out on whether the carbon filter idea in the ZEM will make it to production, never mind what it will cost, and other advancements can take a long time to reach drivers, so if you need a way to save on EV ownership now, you should just shop for
car insurance
with Jerry. 
A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help you cancel your old policy. The average Jerry user saves over $800 a year on car insurance.
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Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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