Student team from the Netherlands showcase eco-friendly car in road trip across America

ZEM team with vehicle in the hi bay

Members of TU Ecomotive are taking an eco-friendly car named ZEM (zero emission mobility) for a road trip across the United States, making a stop in Columbus at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). ZEM Goes USA is a project put on by TU Ecomotive, a student team based at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Over the four-week long trip, 13 students will showcase Zem, a first-of-its-kind electric vehicle.

The vehicle takes carbon dioxide out of the air while driving, using a technology called “direct air capturing.” It houses two filters that can capture and store up to 2kg of CO2 over 30,000 kilometers of driving. In addition, most of the parts of the car were 3D printed from recycled plastic so as not to create extra waste.

This road trip is meant to bring awareness to Americans about carbon waste, especially that that comes with automobiles. On average, a resident living in a U.S. city emits six times more carbon per capita than a resident living in a European city. ZEM is serving as a model for sustainable mobility.

This team made five stops in the U.S.: Merced, San Francisco, Sacramento, Columbus, and New York City. At CAR, they a met with the motorsport's teams, in addition to providing a seminar for students “with no seats left in the classroom,” says Peter Van Deventer, who works in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in California. TU Ecomotive has been connected with CAR Director Giorgio Rizzoni since 2015 when Maarten Steinbuch became a graduate researcher at CAR.

Through their U.S. tour, the team at TU Ecomotive hopes to be shaping the future of sustainable mobility.

Written by CAR Writing Intern Cassie Forsha