Milestone for low-emission mobility: ZEDU-1 car prototype presented in Stuttgart

HWA, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Ministry for Economics, Labour and Tourism in Baden-Württemberg presented the ZEDU-1 car prototype at Karlsplatz in Stuttgart today. ZEDU-1 stands for Zero Emission Drive Unit – Generation 1, and thus for the prospects of achieving virtually zero-emission mobility with a car. With its internal, enclosed brakes and an extraction system for particulate matter and tyre particles, this electric car allows a largely emission-free form of mobility.

  • HWA and DLR present a virtually zero-emission electric car: the ZEDU-1
  • Motor, transmission and brakes form one unit inside the car
  • Fine particles arising no longer escape into the environment
  • HWA is transferring the experience and expertise from its multi-project landscape to technologies of the future

HWA AG is intensively using its experience and development expertise from motor racing and the development of high-performance vehicles in the increasingly important environment of sustainable mobility.

These days, engines are by no means the primary cause of polluting particle emissions from motor vehicles. In fact, it is brake and tyre wear that is responsible for between 60 and 70 percent of fine dust pollution resulting from road traffic.

HWA AG is working with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) to develop the Zero Emission Drive Unit – Generation 1, with which it is possible to reduce dust from brakes and tyres to a minimum. The research project is funded by the Ministry for Economics, Labour and Tourism in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The key feature of this innovative concept: it provides a combined solution for two problems. 

1. Prevention of brake dust:

The classic brake disc in the wheelhouse no longer exists in this concept. Instead, the brakes are located inside the car, as a compact unit consisting of the e-motor, transmission and brakes. This enclosed unit makes it possible to gather any brake particles arising in the oil circuit and then to filter them out. The relocation of the brakes is possible, thanks to the high percentage of energy recovery when braking. This is rising all the time with electric vehicles, in order to increase the efficiency of the cars, resulting in an ever decreasing amount of mechanical brake energy.

The brake in the Zero Emission Drive Unit – Generation 1 is a multi-disc brake, operated using a brake-by-wire system. The vehicle control unit decides between electrical and mechanical braking, based on the brake pedal force, depending on the driving situation. A sufficiently large mechanical brake is primarily necessary for safety reasons, in case the electrical brake should fail.

2. Reduction of tyre particle emissions:

The relocation of the brake into the inside of the car also paves the way for a technical solution to reduce tyre particle emissions. The basis for this system is the encapsulation of the wheels. A combination of aerodynamic effects that occur anyway during driving and an active extraction of particles behind the wheel contact area make it possible to “gather” particles during the drive.

A fan unit in the front of the car, which varies in performance depending on the speed of travel, extracts the particles and conducts them through the multistage filter integrated in the fan housing. Cleaned air is then released from the car into the surrounding air.

Project presented together with minister Hoffmeister-Kraut and the DLR
Within the development project, HWA AG integrated the ZEDU-1 units in a demonstration vehicle, with which initial tests and measurement runs took place as planned in the second and third quarter of 2022. Today, the prototype was presented to the public for the first time at Karlsplatz in Stuttgart. The test car, the technical details of which impressed visitors, was given a ceremonial unveiling by Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (Ministry for Economics, Labour and Tourism). Prof. Dr. Tjark Siefkes, Director of the Institute of Vehicle Concepts at the DLR, welcomed guests before allowing them to find out more about the innovative features of the technology behind the ZEDU-1 and the way it reduces the car’s environmental impact.
In his greeting, Member of the Board of HWA AG, Martin Marx, stressed the importance of the cooperation between politics, research and industry. The mobility of the future can only be achieved sustainably together and with a holistic concept.

Event information: The next presentation of the ZEDU-1 will be at the ADAC GT Masters finale in Hockenheim from 21st to 23rd October. There, media and spectators will have the opportunity to check out the ZEDU-1 in the paddock and in action, as well as to speak to the experts present.

About ZEDU-1
Within the ZEDU-1 project, HWA AG works together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart to develop a perspective for a completely zero-emission mobility. The central components of the Zero Emission Drive Unit – Generation 1 are a compact unit, consisting of electric motor, transition and brake, as well as an extraction system for any tyre particles arising. After the enclosed design of the components, they were integrated in a test vehicle. The first tests, to check the reduced particle emissions, were performed together with the DLR. The project is funded by the Ministry for Economics, Labour and Tourism in Baden-Württemberg.

About HWA AG
From motor racing to perfect engineering: HWA is a 360° service provider with comprehensive technological and motorsport expertise in a multi-project environment. Formed in 1998 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and with headquarters in Affalterbach (Germany), the independent company fields the most successful team in the DTM and is a sought-after partner when it comes to developing high-performance cars.
As specialists in special motor racing technology, together with the relevant development, support and logistics services, HWA is also responsible for many automotive and sustainability projects.


Jens Birkelbach

tel:            +49 (7144) 8717- 211