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Chinese Air Pollution Makes Volvo Cabin Filter a Safety Feature?

No Air Pollution Inside this Volvo, Even in China
No Air Pollution Inside this Volvo, Even in China

China is still trying to get a handle on its growing air pollution problem, and air masks and traffic shutdowns aren’t going to be enough to solve the problem.

Geely, parent company of Volvo ABG, has a solution, the cabin filters installed in Volvo luxury vehicles. Here in the United States, unless you suffer from allergies or live in Los Angeles, you might not not see the cabin filter as such a big deal, but in China, where some cities suffer from air pollution, in the form of particulate matter as small as 2.5µm [PM2.5 or 2.5 micrometers], in concentrations exceeding World Health Organization [WHO] safe limits by nearly 2,000%, a cabin filter might be considered a safety feature and a selling point.

The cabin filter in Volvo vehicles can filter particles as small as pollen grains and road dust [read: air pollution], and the Interior Air Quality System [IAQS] in the Volvo XC70, for example, “continuously monitors incoming air and will, if necessary, temporarily close external air vents to shut out carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone and nitrogen dioxide. Meanwhile, an active carbon filter protects the occupants from other harmful gases and unpleasant odors. This helps to ensure that the air you breathe in the car is cleaner than that outside when driving in heavy city traffic and tunnels.”

Chairman of Geely, Li Shufu, certainly thinks that his countrymen will appreciate the cabin filtration systems in Volvo vehicles, noting the difference between interior and exterior air quality, saying he feels like he’s in Northern Europe when he’s inside the car. When he opens the door, he’s back in Beijing. The only problem I have with the Volvo XC70 is its poor fuel economy, just 17/26mpg city/hwy, which doesn’t do much to cut back on emissions, which might add to the air pollution problem. Of course, there are other, more fuel-efficient Volvo models out there.

Image © Jose Luis RDS Foter CC BY-NC

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