Dezeen Magazine

Heatherwick electric car

Heatherwick Studio reveals Airo car that will clean pollution as it drives

London-based Heatherwick Studio has unveiled its concept for the Airo electric car for IM Motors that will "vacuum up pollutants from other cars".

Revealed today at the Shanghai Motor Show, the vehicle for newly formed Chinese car brand IM Motors was designed by Heatherwick Studio as its first car.

Named Airo, the electric car will be fitted with a HEPA – high-efficiency particulate air – filtering system that will actively clean pollution. It will have both autonomous and driver-controlled modes.

Heatherwick Studio's Airo car for IM Motors
Heatherwick Studio has designed the Airo car for IM Motors

"Airo isn't simply another electric car that doesn't pollute the air," said Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio."Instead, using the latest HEPA-filter technology, it goes further by also vacuuming up pollutants from other cars as it drives along."

Airo electric car designed by Heatherwick Studio
The car will clean the air as it drives

The car has been designed with a flexible interior with rotating seats so that it can be reconfigured into a "multi-functional room".

With the seats facing each other a four-leaf table can be unfolded to create a dining space or a screen extended to watch films or play games.

Electric car by Heatherwick Studio
It is the first car designed by Heatherwick Studio

The car's interior can also be turned into a bedroom as the contoured seats fully recline to create a double bed.

In this mode, the glass roof can be made opaque using the "latest technology" to create a private space.

Table inside Heatherwick Studio's electric car
A four-leaf table can fold up to create a dining space

"Designed to simultaneously address the global space shortage, Airo is also a multi-functional room with extra space for dining, working, gaming or even sleeping," said Heatherwick.

"As a new room for our lives, with a changing view, Airo is  a car intended to transport us to a cleaner and better future."

bed inside Airo
Seats fold down to become a bed

Alongside the car, Heatherwick Studio has also designed a charging station that it describes as "oozing with character".

These curved stations will be built from weathered steel and have a retractable wire for charging.

Electric car charging station
Heatherwick Studio has also designed a charging station

The car, which is set to go into production in 2023, was designed for IM Motors – a car brand created by Chinese car company SAIC Motor, online retailer Alibaba Group and the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Group.

It will be the first car designed by Heatherwick Studio, although the studio previously designed a bus for London.

Along with a bus the studio has also designed a boat to transport tourists and locals along the Loire river between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire.

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Airo electric car