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Last Updated : Jan 20, 2020 11:29 AM IST

Is Green Tech the New IT?

Volvo Cars commitment to green technology goes beyond pure economics.

Moneycontrol Brand Connect

In recent years, some of the most noteworthy breakthroughs in the world of business have come from the field of Green Technology. Be it renewable fuels, solar and wind solutions, software solutions that minimise wastage, technology that cuts back on power consumption, or even the most spectacular success of all - electric cars.

A decade ago, electric cars were a novelty; but today, they are part of India’s roadmap for a sustainable future. And while there are concerns about India’s ability to create adequate charging infrastructure in time, the overall outlook is decidedly in favor of electric. One of the first movers in this market is Volvo Cars with their recharge car line.

Volvo Cars have pledged that 50% of all cars sold by 2025 will be pure electric, and have already begun introducing their pure electric models. Plans to launch a new model each year are underway, as is their commitment to reducing the CO2 footprint per car by 50% of 2018 values, also by 2025.

Volvo Cars commitment to green technology goes beyond pure economics. With a ‘people first’ philosophy, Volvo Cars directs all it’s efforts in creating and designing products with the stated aim of making people’s lives better, safer and easier. This is extended not just to the drivers and passengers of their vehicles, but anyone near and around the car. In a nutshell, everyone.

With that aim in mind, the BreatheFree initiative takes on specific challenges that bring about clear and replicable results. In 2018, as part of the first BreatheFree campaign in India, Volvo Cars and technology partners PerSapien set up Clean Zone kiosks across the NCR region, providing much needed relief to traffic policemen whose duties exposed them to a staggering amount of air pollution. They also reached out to several schools, teaching school children how to make low cost air purifiers for their own homes.

This year, they’ve upped the ante by converting school buses into moving air purifiers, sucking up PM 2.5 equivalent to the emissions by 10 cars. The science behind this technology sounds deceptively simple: PM is dangerous mostly because of its size. At less than 2.5 micrometers, it can be inhaled deep into our lungs, and is often even found in the bloodstream. The -2.5 exhaust attachment uses wave and electrical energy to magnetize pollutants like PM 2.5, making them clump together. Now that they are larger, they can’t be breathed in.

The idea is elegant in its simplicity, and is clearly a product of unfettered, out of the box thinking. Which is why Volvo is also tapping into the world’s biggest pool of unfettered thinking - children. In keeping with last year’s program, Volvo Cars has continued to focus on children being the thought leaders of tomorrow. The Voices of Future contest calls all thinkers, tinkerers, inventors and dreamers who are still in school to contribute their original ideas for the next wave of innovations targeted at climate change, and more specifically, air pollution.

The contest is also backed by a mentor program with PerSapien, and a cash scholarship for the winner. It will be interesting to see the kinds of ideas the contest generates - Volvo Cars will be publishing an e-book containing the top 20 ideas that they feel most likely to succeed. The contest entries closed on January 8th.

Could the next big market mover be found there? We’ll have to wait and see.

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First Published on Jan 20, 2020 11:29 am
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