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ZEDU-1, an electric prototype that aims to be truly zero emissions

Electric cars as we know do not emit carbon dioxide and all the pollutants typical of cars equipped with an internal combustion engine. But when a battery-powered car is moving, it still produces a kind of “emission”. Consider, for example, the particles generated by the braking system. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) in cooperation with the automobile company HWA has developed a special prototype of an electric vehicle that allows completely zero-emissions mobility. It’s called Zero Emission Engine Unit – Generation 1 (ZEDU-1), and it’s a special vehicle with a system that avoids the spread of particulate matter generated by the braking system and tires. To reduce the emission of particles practically to zero, it was incorporated directly onto the wheels of the car. The prototype did not have a classic braking system. The brakes were removed from the wheels and moved inside the electric transmission. Since most deceleration is caused by regenerative braking, the mechanical components of the brakes can be made smaller and lighter. When more braking force is required, the multi-disc mechanical oil bath braking system is activated and the resulting particles are then filtered. In addition to the mechanical brakes, the team developed an induction brake for this prototype. As for the particulate matter emitted from the tires, the solution was found by creating a specific wheel arch. Its special shape allows negative pressure to be created inside it while driving. In this way, the particles emitted from the rolling of the tires are concentrated in a single point. Particles that are pulled and then collected. This prototype has already undergone a series of tests that have confirmed the validity of this technical solution, and the idea is to present this technology to car manufacturers so that in the future they can incorporate it into production cars to make them more sustainable. This prototype was created by a grant from the Ministry of Economy, Labor and Tourism of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The project to develop and build this car required an investment of 6 million euros. Trademark Sifix, Director of the DLR Institute of Automotive Concepts in Stuttgart commented: For us, people’s health and a clean environment are of paramount importance. The ZEDU-1 project focuses on components that have not yet received much attention and whose emissions are now being gradually regulated by the European Commission through legislative measures: namely, brakes and tyres. With the ZEDU-1 prototype, we’re demonstrating solutions on how to travel with virtually zero emissions. Our concept is highly efficient, ultra-compact, suitable for everyday use and versatile.

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