Inside Our Cars

As allergies and smog problems increase in the industrialized world, interest in Volvo Cars’ systems for clean cabin air is rapidly increasing. Almost two decades of systematically addressing the issue has led to some remarkable results.

“Our goal is to make the environment inside the cabin cleaner than the air outside. This includes emissions from the cabin materials and the air entering through the climate system. In both cases, we’ve come far,” says Andreas Andersson, who is an expert in clean cabin at Volvo Car Group.

To clean the incoming air, an effective multifilter stops particulates and pollen from entering the cabin. A layer of active charcoal in the filter removes odours and ground-level ozone, and if outdoor levels of harmful substances are too high, the system automatically closes the vents. 

“We have also developed the unique Clean Zone system, which automatically vents out gathered emissions in a parked car within one minute after the car is unlocked with the remote control.” Andreas Andersson says.

As there are no laws that govern in-car air, we have created our own in-car air quality requirements when developing new Volvo models. Careful measurements ensure that cabin materials are not harmful to human health or the environment.

Many customers have noticed that the “new car smell” has decreased dramatically - a good sign of reduced emissions from materials. Today, no plastics, glues or filling materials are approved for Volvo car interiors until they have passed strict tests.

Interest in a clean in-cabin environment is growing among customers as well as among decision-makers. When consumer protection organisations in China recently tested material emissions in 52 models from 25 manufacturers, the Volvo S60 received the best score of all.

“Several Asian markets have taken this issue to a new level, with China, Japan and Korea indicating that they would like to set new legal requirements. Customer interest is also growing in Europe and in the United States,” Andreas Andersson says.