It is more than normal, and expected, that Chinese companies dedicate themselves to fighting the coronavirus, mainly because it was this Asian country and its strange and outdated food hygiene habits that gave rise not only to the coronavirus, but also to the most recent epidemics. Geely, one of the most dynamic local builders, with investments in this industry in the international theater, intends to become a part of the solution.
It is not yet fully known how the coronavirus works, nor how it spreads or how it can be effectively combated. Isolating the interior of a car from the existing viruses and bacteria in the surrounding air is far-fetched, making it much simpler to think of a vehicle occupied by two or more occupants, where one (or more) is infected and it is essential to avoid contagion. In this case, a more efficient ventilation system can help protect the health (and life) of healthy occupants.
Haven’t their cars already got a bioweapon defense mode?
– Jacky Wong (@jackycwong) February 5, 2020
It is precisely for this purpose that Geely decided to commit itself to the design and manufacture of an air conditioning / air filtration system for its vehicles, capable of eliminating viruses. It should be noted that eliminating the bacteria is a substantially simpler challenge, since their larger dimensions (they are at least single-celled organisms) make them easier to capture by the finer HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, with hospital characteristics. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria, posing extra problems to prevent them from 'escaping' through the 'mesh' of the filter.
Tesla has it already. "Bioweapon defense mode". They prob just used a filter like this. pic.twitter.com/OcVyXbaWBL
– Steve Hou (@stevehouf) February 5, 2020
Geely is owned by Li Shufu, the Chinese who is also the owner of Volvo, the company that produces London taxis and, among other manufacturers, 10% of Mercedes, which makes it the largest shareholder in the German group. The Chinese manufacturer says it has invested 370 million yuan, or 47 million euros, in a new air filtration system. Critics say that a similar system already exists, the Bioweapon Defense Mode, installed as standard on the Model S and Model X – capable of removing 99.97% of the fine particles such as polluting gases, pollen, mold, bacteria and viruses -, while the Model 3 uses smaller filters due to a lack of space.