Company takes proactive approach to disinfecting vehicles

In discussing the new Surface Disinfection & Air Cleanse services from mobile vehicle care and fleet services company RideKleen, Pratik Patel said that in the current COVID-19 situation, companies should have taken a more proactive approach in cleaning vehicles, rather than reactive.

“If we had a more of a proactive approach when it comes to cleaning vehicles, this may have been a little bit easier problem to solve,” said Patel, who is president of RideKleen, in an interview with Auto Remarketing.

In response to the pandemic, RideKleen, a Cox Automotive brand, will implement its heightened Surface Disinfection & Air Cleanse Services in partnership with Cox Automotive brands Clutch Technologies and Manheim to bring a new retail delivery and service pickup and delivery offering. The company also announced new cleaning and disinfecting products.

Patel said the company accelerated the product offering because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but he noted it will be a permanent capability after the subsiding of the outbreak.

RideKleen says it can now treat vehicles with an EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant called DetraPel, which states that it is designed to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including Coronavirus.

RideKleen says it will also begin treating in-vehicle air with a hygienic vapor called NuVinAir and its patented ReStore and ReFresh process. The company says the product can help remove contaminants, odor and pollutants “and reach places sprays and wipes cannot.”

In addition to offering the service to Cox Automotive clients, RideKleen is working on developing various charitable partnerships to help disinfect the vehicles of medical professionals and first responders who are fighting against COVID-19.

Patel told Auto Remarketing that RideKleen, a Cox Automotive brand, was rolling out the Surface Disinfection & Air Cleanse Services in the Atlanta market on April 6, but he said the company was looking to offer the service to people across the country.

“We’re going to partner with Clutch Technologies and also Manheim locations to be able to bring them the solution, and then they can also deliver it to some of the partners that they work with,” Patel said.

Dealers using the Clutch Technologies Retail Delivery & Service Pickup and Delivery platform will have access to RideKleen’s Surface Disinfection & Air Cleanse Services. The company said that to help perform some of those services, it will use local Manheim staff and drivers. RideKleen sourced the 2020 Cox Automotive COVID-19 Dealer Impact Study in noting that 44% of dealers said they are requiring more frequent sanitation of test drive vehicles. Thirty-eight percent of dealers are offering test drives at consumers’ homes during the Coronavirus crisis, according to the study.

Expanding on NuVinAir, Patel said to think of it as a hygienic vapor that is released into the vehicle’s interior cabin.

“And the process around that is you would turn the vehicle on [and] run the air conditioner unit,” he said.

He continued, “So that way it can get into the ventilation system for the vehicle as well.”

Patel said disinfecting of vehicles would become an important issue, particularly in the area of ridesharing.

“That trust factor of ‘is this vehicle really safe to get into’ is always going to be in the back of people’s mind,” Patel said.

Patel said the company is looking at technology that could work as an automated system. It would work when a vehicle is in down time, and the system could disinfect the vehicle when it is unoccupied.

“So we are working on some really cool things to innovate, because the reality of this is that instead of being reactive, I think we need to start thinking more proactive when it comes to disinfecting vehicles.”

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