Passive Filtering While Driving, Active Filtering While Charging
Audi places sustainability at the heart of its activities and takes responsibility for the environment and society. The company strives to make production net-carbon-neutral1 and to reduce emissions where possible. Together with the supplier MANN+HUMMEL, Audi has now developed a filter for the front end that can collect particulate matter from its environment; it functions similarly to stationary systems that are already in use in some cities. The mobile version ensures not only are the car’s own particulate emissions absorbed, such as those of an Audi e-tron, but those of other vehicles can be absorbed as well – right where they are generated.
The pilot project was launched in 2020 and will run for a period of four years, Fabian Groh, Project Manager in Attachment System Development at AUDI AG, explains: “This particulate filter is an example of our pursuit of innovation for everyone’s benefit and a successful collaboration with specialized suppliers. We are already doing a lot today on our own initiative. We anticipate it will also become a legal requirement in the future.”
The filter is integrated into the vehicle’s existing airflow in front of the radiator so that only a few modifications to the car are necessary, keeping costs down. The filter element is controlled via the switchable cooling air inlet and its mechanical function is comparable to that of a vacuum cleaner. By a similar principle, the fine dust particles remain stuck in the filter and the air can still flow through it.
Thus far, the filter has been used in Audi e-tron test vehicles. While driving, it passively filters by means of the movement of the vehicle; air flows through the filter system, which captures even the smallest particles. Another possibility is filtering during stationary charging. A fan that is already built into every electric vehicle conveys ambient air through the radiator – the system takes advantage of this process and can thus actively filter the air flowing through it, using the fine dust filter, ensuring the smallest particles are absorbed, even when stationary. This is ideal for use in urban environments, where the particulate matter pollution is much higher than in rural areas.