Chinese automaker Geely, which also owns Volvo, has announced that it will develop a virus-free car that will protect drivers and passengers against viruses.
“Geely Auto transferred 370 million yuan (around $ 53 million) to develop healthy and smart cars that will clean the air and filter viruses, as part of the fight against coronavirus,” the company said in a statement.
“Geely Auto’s R&D and design teams in Europe, the USA and China will work together to develop environmentally sustainable materials with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can be used on ventilation surfaces and frequently touched surfaces such as buttons and arms.” as it is stated.
“Prevention of the epidemic requires a long-term effort with the participation of all segments of the society. People spend a lot of time in their cars, which are the most common means of transportation. Cars are like their second home,” said An Conghui, Chairman and CEO of the company.
Geely’s virus-free car project has been compared to “Biological Weapon Defense Mode” in Tesla’s Model X and Model S vehicles by auto experts and users on social media.
Tesla uses HEPA (High-Efficiency Particle Trapping) filters, which he calls “100 times more effective” than the filters of luxury cars in these models. The company says these filters eliminate 99.97 per cent of bacteria, virus, pollen and fungal spores, and the filter captures small particles up to 0.3 micrometres.
The company tested a Model X vehicle in 2016 by placing it in a giant transparent tent filled with air pollutant particles.
He explained that the Biological Weapon Defense Mode completely cleaned the vehicle’s air within minutes after it was activated, and even the system started to clean the air outside the car. However, after the experiment, some experts pointed out that viruses can have particles smaller than 0.3 micrometres.
“If you are concerned about anthrax and plague, a good filter system will probably protect you. But if you believe that all bioterrorist substances are bacteria, you’re protected to a limited extent,” he added.
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