Disinfection unit helps coach operators resume operations

The ECO3 disinfection unit that produces ozone gas is one of the most effective ways to protect drivers and passengers against bacteria and viruses. Hellbergs Buss in Sweden and Meurer Touristik in Germany are two companies that installed the air purifiers in their coaches during the pandemic. “Thanks to the ECO3, we have received several new bookings,” says Mikael Hellberg.

Mikael Hellberg, owner of Hellbergs Buss, with a Volvo 9900

Mikael Hellberg founded Hellbergs Buss in 1994 and today has a total of seven buses. Since the beginning of the year, ECO3s have been installed in all but one of their buses, which will be replaced shortly. "This has actually meant a positive change for us. Regardless of what happens with vaccines and pandemics, I think this is something that must stay. There are many other viruses and bacteria and if we can protect our drivers and passengers from getting sick, that's great.”

Coach companies have been hit hard by the pandemic over the past year, and in many parts of Europe the tourism industry is more or less stagnant.

For family-owned Hellbergs Buss in Skövde, Sweden, charter services are an important part of the business and in 2019, the company invested in three new coaches: two Volvo 9900s and one Volvo 9700. During the pandemic, the buses were mainly used for school transport and train replacement services instead.

Safety for drivers and passengers has been the highest priority over the past year, and for Mikael Hellberg, installing air purifiers in their buses was an obvious decision.

“Of course, we also make sure that passengers can keep their distance from each other and that there is hand sanitizer at the entrance. But the ECO3 air purifier feels like the best measure we can take to create a safe environment for our passengers and drivers. Once installed, it takes care of itself and is activated as soon as the power in the bus is turned on,” says Mikael Hellberg.

The ECO3 disinfection unit is one of the health and safety products that Volvo Buses is offering to help customers increase safety on their coaches during the pandemic. The unit continuously produces ozone gas which cleans the air and reduces the number of particles and organic substances on all surfaces it comes in contact with. It provides comprehensive disinfection of the bus’s interior and is one of the most effective ways of protecting drivers and passengers from bacteria and viruses.

As soon as the air purifiers were installed, Mikael Hellberg made sure to spread the information through the company's social media channels to both existing and new customers. And the response was almost immediate.

We have already received bookings for the coming months that we would not have had otherwise.

Mikael Hellberg, Hellbergs Buss

“We have already received bookings for the coming months that we would not have had otherwise. Our customers are very aware of the issues, and I believe this will be a decisive factor in the future. As it looks now, the investment in air purifiers means that we can get started a little earlier than we dared to expect,” he says.

Sascha Meurer, owner of the bus operator Meurer Touristik

Sascha Meurer, owner of the bus operator Meurer Touristik in Germany, has installed ECO3 in the new Volvo 9900.

Sascha Meurer runs Meurer Touristik, a coach company based near Cologne, Germany. Just like Hellbergs Buss, Meurer Touristik runs replacement buses for trains. They also have permanent assignments where they drive disabled and elderly people to jobs and daytime activities.

Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for 50 per cent of the company's operations, and last year the company's bus fleet was strengthened with a Volvo 9900.

“We only managed to make a few tourist trips during the summer and at the beginning of the autumn. Since November, that business is completely flat here in Germany. Hotels and restaurants are closed, and we currently have no tours booked. I hope it will start again no later than September,” says Sascha Meurer.

In order to offer his customers a travel experience that is as safe as possible, he has also chosen to install the ECO3 in his new Volvo.

“We must do everything we can to protect our passengers and prevent the virus from spreading. In addition to ECO3, we also offer hand sanitizers at the bus entrance and keep distance between passengers. With cleaner buses, our passengers will feel safer. And I also hope that there will be new legal requirements that allow those of us who have air purifiers installed in our coaches to start driving earlier.”

While waiting for tourism to start up again, Sascha Meurer calls his previous customers to talk about what the company can offer and what safety measures have been taken.

It feels good to be able to say that we have installed air purifiers and that we can guarantee a clean bus and safe travel.

Sascha Meurer, Meurer Touristik

 “It feels good to be able to say that we have installed air purifiers and that we can guarantee a clean bus and safe travel. Hopefully this will make them choose us when it is possible to travel again,” he says.

HOW THE ECO3 WORKS

  • The ECO3 disinfection unit is one of the health and safety products that Volvo Buses is offering its coach customers within the Clean & Care programme.
  • An ozone generator in the climate system constantly produces active oxygen. The air flows through the filter and about a hundred air ducts before it reaches the interior of the bus.
  • The active oxygen disinfects the bus by fighting viruses and bacteria on all interior surfaces. It disinfects everything from the bus seats, handles and glass panels to hard-to-reach surfaces that can only be accessed with the help of air currents.
  • The ECO3 can be installed in both new and old models.
  • The ECO3 disinfection unit has been tested and validated by the independent test institutes SGS and INTA. It has been proved to be very efficient against bacteria, viruses, and other organic pollutants.

Watch the video about ECO3 here!

HELLBERGS BUSS

  • Family-owned company founded in 1994.
  • Based in Skövde, Sweden.
  • In addition to chartered services, the company runs school buses and train replacement services.
  • It has nine employees.
  • The company has two Volvo 9900s, a Volvo 9700, a Volvo 9500 and three other smaller buses from other brands. 

MEURER TOURISTIK

  • Family-owned company founded in 2008.
  • Based in Lohmar, near Cologne, Germany.
  • Arranges tourist trips and other chartered services, as well as train replacement services and services for the elderly and disabled.
  • It has 12 employees.
  • The company’s fleet includes one Volvo 9900, one Volvo 8700, two smaller long-distance buses from IVECO, as well as several smaller vehicles from Volkswagen and Mercedes.

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