Volvo Cars have developed two systems, Interior Air Quality System (IAQS) and Clean Zone Interior Package (CZIP), with the sole objective to make the environment inside the cabin cleaner than the air outside. This includes the air entering via the climate system as well as the emissions from the materials inside the cabin.
Volvo Cars began testing in the mid-1990s in order to create an environment inside the car that is safe for hypersensitive people. The Volvo S80, introduced in 1998, was the first model in which this work was clearly noticeable. The company’s work in this area has resulted in the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association now recommending seven Volvo models.
Interior environment quality can be divided into two areas - air quality and contact allergies. To counteract contact allergies, the amount of nickel released from metallic surfaces is minimised and the leather is tanned in a chrome-free process. The car is heated until the interior reaches a temperature of 65° Celsius using a sunshine simulator to verify interior emissions. IAQS monitors the quality of the incoming air and automatically closes the air vents if the levels of harmful substances become too high. A multi-filter removes particulates and pollen but also uses a layer of active charcoal to remove odours and ground-level ozone. The system automatically closes the air vents, for example, when driving through a tunnel.