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Volvo’s world-first air-cleaning system comes to South Africa

A new PM2.5 sensor coming to a fleet of Volvo cars in South Africa can trigger an in-cabin air-purifier to increase air quality before a driver gets in the car.



Imagine a world in which, while enjoying your breakfast from the comfort of your home, the air in your car is being cleaned … remotely at the press of a button. So later, when you leave for the office, you know that you will be breathing clean and healthy air while driving. Does this sound like a pipedream? It’s not – if you’re driving a Volvo.

That’s because Volvo has introduced a world first: a system called CleanZone, which cleans the air inside a car. It will be introduced in South Africa as an optional extra on the XC60, S90, V90CC and XC90.

The Advanced Air Cleaner technology – originally introduced in China – makes use of a sensor that measures particulate matter that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres – commonly referred to as PM2.5. Wondering how small 2.5 micrometres is? Think about a single hair from your head. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average human hair is about 70 micrometres in diameter – making it 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.

PM levels are extremely important to one’s health. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), while particles with a diameter of 10 microns or less, (≤ PM10) can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs, the even more health-damaging particles are those with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less, (≤ PM2.5). PM2.5  can penetrate the lung barrier and enter the blood system. The WHO warns that chronic exposure to particles contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and also lung cancer.

The Advanced Air Cleaner removes fine particulate matters from the cabin thanks to a synthetic fibre-based filter and ionisation, up to 95% of all PM2.5 particles are kept out of the cabin. While this is good for a driver’s health, it also helps to boost concentration.

A Volvo driver can even pre-clean the car remotely – using the Volvo Cars smartphone app. The app will then report on PM2.5 levels inside the vehicle after cleaning.

“With our Advanced Air Cleaner technology, you can rest assured that the air you breathe inside your Volvo is cleaner and healthier,” says Anders Löfvendahl, senior technical expert on cabin air quality at Volvo Cars. “We believe that clean air is good for you, both from a health and from a safety perspective, and will continue to push the envelope in this area.”