As smoke from the devastating wildfires in Canada continues to pollute the air, posing a severe threat to the health of millions of Americans, CabinAir, a leading Swedish technology company, has stepped up to address this urgent issue. CabinAir has successfully developed a cutting-edge technology that can deliver healthier air to drivers and passengers, ensuring their well-being even in the midst of this crisis.
This technology is already on the road today as part of Volvo Cars Advanced Air Cleaner (AAC) and was recently announced for Polestar 3, with several other premium marques en route. It’s also available as an aftermarket upgrade for the millions of cars already on the road.
“The Canadian wildfires created a public health crisis for everyone, not just individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions,” says CabinAir CEO Daniel Hagström. “But we have proven that our technology is able to significantly enhance the air quality for drivers and passengers.”
In the U.S, bad air quality due to Canadian wildfires has created a public health emergency because just about everyone, not just vulnerable populations, is affected. At that level, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises everyone to:
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- Turn off A/C to avoid pulling in outdoor smoke.
- Change the home's air filter regularly.
- Keep a supply of N95 respirator masks on hand.
- Be informed: paper masks or tissues do not protect against the fine particles in smoke.
- Invest in a high performing air purifier.
That’s well and good as long as you can take refuge in your home. But what if you have to drive your children to school or commute to work? Or even worse, drive a taxi or a delivery truck a full working day? How healthy is the air in your vehicle?
The answer is that it’s a lot healthier if you have CabinAir’s OEM solution or its Nordzone™ aftermarket solution installed. That’s because CabinAir bases its technology on the same and already proven world-class technology used in millions of homes and offices around the world.
The technology is highly effective against the smallest particles that are most harmful to health and a major component of wildfire smoke. “We originally developed this solution for in-cabin air because on an everyday basis, the air in your car can be several times more toxic than the air is on the outside,” Hagström explains. “It even filters out viruses and bacteria”.
Innovation for a healthier and safer drive
There is one key difference between CabinAir’s solutions and conventional filtration: CabinAir technology is a so-called “single pass” solution. This means that instead of having to recirculate air through a mechanical filter to be effective, CabinAir’s solutions work under the hood to effectively clean outside air before it ever enters the cabin.
This flushes out airborne viruses and bacteria as well as prevents the air from ever becoming stale, with unhealthy levels of carbon dioxide. But just how does that work?
Particle Charging + Mechanical Filtration
CabinAir’s air purification solution combines the effect of particle charging technology with an optimized mechanical filter. The particle charging device gives airborne particles an electrical charge as they enter the system, making them “stickier,” so they get trapped in a filter much more effectively, while the mechanical filtration removes large particles: pollen and dust that has a direct, noticeable effect on breathing. An activated carbon filter can be added in custom solutions.
Effectively Turning a Car into an Air Purifier
As part of the available solutions, CabinAir supplies air quality sensor solutions for OEMs, while the smart and connected Nordzone™ Air quality monitor and Nordzone™ app will be part of the aftermarket portfolio, providing live updates of outside and in-cabin air quality and guides you towards healthier air.
CabinAir’s Connected Health Zone System, which was a CES® 2022 Innovation Awards Honoree and Automotive News PACE Award 2022 finalist, can be combined with high quality PM, CO₂ and VOC sensors and AI powered cloud platforms to visualize air quality and to guide and navigate you to healthy air in all traffic situations.
“Our Connected Health Zone Systems turn vehicles into powerful air purifiers,” Hagström says.
That’s good news for drivers and passengers, and not just for today. With extreme events like the Canadian wildfires potentially becoming more frequent, CabinAir's technology is poised to play a critical role in ensuring the well-being of individuals on the road.
"We were ahead of our time with this solution," concluded Hagström. "Given the current circumstances, it is evident that addressing air quality concerns in vehicles is more important than ever."