This seems like a great way to make the earth a little greener.
The world is shifting towards electric vehicles in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. As we know, some EVs actually pollute more than gas-powered cars, but that's why the world needs clever new ways of making our planet a little more hospitable for generations to come. Even with so-called zero-emissions vehicles, brake dust and rubber particles from tires continue to pollute the atmosphere, and various concepts have been presented over the years with a view to reducing air pollution. But so far, many of these ideas have been impractical.
Audi seems to have the solution, however, and we may not have to wait decades to see it in action.
Through a new pilot project developed with parts supplier Mann + Hummel, Audi is designing a new particulate filter for electric cars like the e-tron GT that can collect particulate matter (matter in the form of minute separate particles) from the air. The filter works in a similar fashion to the stationary air filtration systems in homes, but by nature of the fact that this filter would be installed at the front of a car, it can collect the tiny particles generated by other road users and the car it is installed on.
The filter could be mounted to just about any EV in its front fascia. It would reside ahead of the radiator with minimal, if any, modifications required for fitment.
Audi explains that the filter would be controlled by a switchable cooling air inlet and functions in two modes. When the car is on the move, this system passively filters the air as it passes through the front of the car. And when it's stationary - for example, when charging - the radiator fan would suck in the surrounding air. This would use minimal energy.
The pilot program was launched in 2020 and will conclude in 2024, but at this point, initial tests after 50,000 kilometers/31,068 miles have found no negative effects on the way the e-tron test vehicles operate. Furthermore, tests conducted in the city of Stuttgart have found that a trial vehicle was able to completely filter out its own particles.
The next step is to connect the filtration system with other vehicle sensors to make it even more efficient.