Stockholm, February 28, 2020. In a world first, Volvo Cars is upgrading its vehicles with a new, fully integrated, active air-purification system based on patented technology from CabinAir that removes more than 95% of harmful PM2.5 and ultrafine particles on single pass.
CabinAir’s Active Air Quality solution which Volvo calls Advanced Air Cleaning (AAC) is a core element of Volvo’s CLEANZONE®. It was developed in close cooperation with Volvo and is now featured in a global refresh of this year’s S90 and V90 models. It was first proven last year in selected Volvo models on the Chinese market. “We are extremely proud that Volvo is rolling out our system globally based on its success on the road, in real life everyday conditions,” says Daniel Hagström, CabinAir CEO. “Its performance is not theoretical. It is a fact.”Secret to success
The main difference between CabinAir’s solution and other solutions is that CabinAir’s approach does not depend on recirculating air to purify it. Instead, it is based on a two-stage technology invented by Blueair and proven in millions of homes, offices and public spaces around the world. The technology has been reinvented by CabinAir to work in the highly demanding automotive environment.
The solution combines the effect of an optimized mechanical filter with active particle charging technology. This method gives pollution particles an electrical charge as they enter the system, so they can be trapped in the filter much more effectively than in a passive filter-only system. That is why it can remove more than 95% of harmful PM2.5 and ultrafine particles in a single pass filtration, without the need to recirculate the air in the car.
CabinAir has also recently launched Nordzone™ for the aftermarket – a retrofit of the OEM solution for existing HVAC systems.
“Working directly with an OEM does allow us to further optimize performance by integrating our technology into the whole design of a car’s HVAC system,” Hagström says. “But we don’t want to deny owners of the hundreds of millions of cars already on the road access to much healthier air than they are getting right now. That’s why we also created the NordZone system.”
More alert drivers = fewer accidents
Because CabinAir’s system is effective without the need to recirculate air, it continuously flushes out VOCs and odors, and could even reduce traffic accidents by helping keep drivers more alert. Traditional systems need to recirculate the air in the car in order to reach acceptably low levels of pollutants. As air is recirculated, though, oxygen levels in the car decrease and CO2 levels increase to unhealthy levels* in as little as 10 minutes with a family of four in the car. The higher levels of CO2 can cause the driver to become drowsy and react more slowly.
In-car air can be much more polluted
Outdoor air pollution is widely known as a serious health threat. Less known is the fact that the air that you breathe in your car can be much more polluted than outdoor air. This is due primarily to the direct flow of exhaust from the vehicles ahead and the relatively small volume of enclosed space inside the passenger compartment.
As part of CabinAir’s efforts to increase awareness of the health threat from in-vehicle air pollution, it is working with various partners to influence decision makers to work for a better standard for in-cabin air quality. Several test methods used today use large particles such as dust to measure efficiency, while the ultrafine and most harmful particles are neglected
“It’s now clear that the automotive industry is taking healthy air more and more seriously, both outside and inside vehicles,” says Daniel Hagström, CabinAir CEO. “We are very proud of being chosen to be a volume supplier to one of the top brands in the industry. It’s proof that we are doing things right both for the car-driving population and from a corporate and technology perspective.”
*Source: Carbon Letters Vol. 26, 74-80 (2018)