All new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles are now available with the option of a hi-tech Cabin Air Ionisation system in South Africa.

Designed to improve air quality, the feature reduces allergens, airborne bacteria and associated odours. The system electrically charges air particles, ionises them and in turn removes pollutants and other harmful particles. By functioning with the climate control system, the vehicle can constantly purify the air, making for a healthier and more enjoyable drive.

Although a relatively new technology for automobiles, air ionisation is a well-experimented and proven science. The system uses a condenser inside the vehicle to collect moisture from the air. These water molecules are then electrically charged, or ionised, to trap contaminants like allergens and bacteria when dispersed through the climate control system.

The benefit of using a moisture based-system means the contaminants are better secured, making them less likely to escape the filter media. Without ionisation these particles would flow freely throughout the cabin, even through the cabin pre-filters which are fitted to most modern vehicles today.

Land Rover vehicle air purification technology

Cabin Air Ionisation with PM2.5

Jaguar Land Rover is also taking the technology a step further with the planned introduction of a new Cabin Air Ionisation with PM2.5 filter system. This feature is an upgrade of the previous version with an even stronger filtration system to help prevent particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in size from entering the cabin.

PM2.5 is a key measure of air quality and its level of potential harm to the respiratory system. In some countries with high pollution levels, it is typically advised that people stay indoors when PM2.5 reaches 500 AQI (Air Quality Index) due to the increased risks to their health. The Cabin Air Ionisation with PM2.5 system is able to significantly reduce incidences of additional particulates entering the cabin that may cause bad smells, trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks; and balance enough fresh air to maintain driver alertness.

An Air Quality Sensor, which is already a feature in existing systems, continuously scans the external air entering the vehicle to assess its relative quality, and, if it detects harmful pollutants it will automatically engage the climate control system’s recirculation setting.

In areas of extremely poor air quality the system may engage recirculation for a sustained amount of time resulting in a build up of CO2 inside the cabin which could potentially affect driver alertness. A CO2 Management feature will then selectively reopen the recirculation door to let fresh air in and return balance to the cabin air environment.

Another handy feature is an Air Purge which activates the fans and recirculation function of the climate control system remotely in order to “freshen” the cabin’s air prior to entry. This function can be controlled in two ways – timed or remote. Drivers can either set a Timed Departure within the vehicle’s infotainment system before exiting the vehicle after a journey, or use their Remote InControl app to engage Air Purge from their smartphones ahead of entry to their vehicle.

Cabin Air Ionisation with PM2.5 will be introduced in some Jaguar Land Rover models in South Africa by the end of 2020 and will be available in all vehicles by the beginning of 2021.