An Auto Innovator

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Mick’s interest in green energy and carbon-neutral footprints didn’t stop at his business. In 2011, Mick imagined a car that would have zero effect on the environment from its design through to construction and operation. In his own words, he had been looking into “future cars that my son might drive” when his interest started. Some research into bio-diesel fuels, and the challenge began.

Mick Fabar first had a professional artist draw the finished product as a way to visualise his goal. He then put together a team of seven guys to help him turn that goal into a reality. Using an old $1,000 eBay wreck as the base car, they assembled completely recycled or second hand parts to create their zero-emission hot rod. The name came as an inspiration, capturing the team’s focus and passion to produce a ‘Zero’ impact vehicle, it was called the ZERO’D.

The process was well documented throughout the 11 months of planning and 7 months of building. Queensland’s Bond University ensured the team kept on track, setting parameters for achieving a zero carbon footprint. Even the construction in Mick’s garage took into account environmental impact. Details such as using eco-friendly gas in welding were not overlooked. In keeping with the project’s goals, Mick’s workshop was run on renewable energy – using solar and wind for power.

For the interior, leather was sourced from seconds and off cuts, which would normally never be used. This created a unique texture by embracing the leather’s natural grains. Externally, the paint was sourced from companies who provided the latest Eco-friendly products. The only thing excessive about its construction was the vast attention to style. By the time the ZERO’D was ready to leave the nest, it was no longer an ugly duckling. Boasting a sleek classic hot rod physique and incredible curb appeal.

Under the hood, the re-purposed engine and transmission complimented a battery system that operated from two solar-panels mounted on the rear parcel shelf. Even all the nuts and bolts came from other vehicles and no chrome-plating was used, avoiding harsh chemicals.

ZERO’D found another role as an inspirational community project. In 2012, children from a local school with special needs were invited to help in the process. Lacking funding, the school’s in-house automotive training program was looking for a new project. This prompted Mick to offer students and teachers the opportunity to work on ZERO’D with him.

A world first, ZERO’D went on to win its fair share of awards, capturing the title of SummerNats Grand Champion and Street Machine of The Year. To date, the ZERO’D is the only fully endorsed carbon–neutral hot rod in the world.