Audi’s Urban Purifier – an idea that really sucks

Tom Barnard

15 Oct 2022

Audi has developed a particulate filter for electric cars that collects tiny fragments of dust and soot from the air while driving and charging. 

According to Audi’s research, 85% of fine dust in road traffic is caused by the gradual wearing down of brakes, tyres, or the actual road surface. The smallest dust particles, hardly noticeable to the naked eye, are only a few micrometres in size with a diameter of only 10 micrometres and can therefore be easily inhaled. 

While electric cars don’t have any exhaust emissions and produce less brake dust than conventional petrol and diesel cars, the increased weight can mean they wear tyres faster. 

Together with the supplier MANN+HUMMEL, Audi has developed a filter for the front end of its electric models that can collect particulate matter from the surrounding air. It ensures not only are the car’s own particulate emissions absorbed, but those of other vehicles can also be filtered. 

Audi says it expects this type of filtration system to become a legal requirement in the future as cities struggle to meet World Health Organisation standards for air quality. 

The filter is integrated into the vehicle’s existing air channels in front of the radiator so that only a few modifications to the car are necessary, keeping costs down.So far, the filter has been used in Audi e-tron test vehicles. After over 30,000 miles of endurance tests, the filters seem to have no negative effects on the operation of the electric vehicle, including on hot summer days or during fast charging. 

The filter is easy to maintain and only needs replacing when the regular service interval has been reached. The filter itself consists of 15% recycled material and the entire system is 60% recycled.

The trials have used e-trons, which filter air as they driver and charge

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