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Why this car has four vacuum cleaners next to its wheels

January 16, 2023


Not everyone is convinced that EVs are clean and sustainable. Driving on gray coal power is not very clean, is it? Correct, but at the bottom line less bad for the environment than burning a gallon of gasoline or diesel in an inefficient internal combustion engine. A fuel engine converts only 35 percent of a full fuel tank into kinetic energy. The rest is converted into heat or lost through friction (even more heat) from the gearbox. This leaves only 30 percent to spin your wheels. Just don’t think about this when gasoline prices are high again.

Fine Dust

Electric cars also create direct emissions. Then we talk about tire wear (microplastics released) and particulate matter from brake discs. EVs often slow down on their motors, putting less strain on the brake discs. The German Aerospace Center thought that was no excuse for doing nothing about it. The institute worked with German manufacturer HWA to build a car with vacuum cleaners around the wheel arches. These suck up all the particulates from tires and brakes while driving.


The car, with the catchy name Zero Emission Drive Unit Generation 1, features a bin, in which all dust is collected. Up to a speed of 50 km/h, the ZEDU-1 ‘s vacuums can capture all the particulates from brake discs and rubber particles from tires. At high speed, they suck up to 80 percent of harmful particles. It makes the ZEDU-1 perhaps the most environmentally friendly car in the world. The team is exploring whether the technology could go into production soon.

How long can you spend in traffic jams with an electric car?