Volvo goes vegan! Leather-free interior in all models by 2030, starting with 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge
Arvind · Sep 26, 2021 04:09 PM
In taking an ethical stand for animal welfare, starting with the new 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge, Volvo will do away with leather upholstery in all its electric cars.
Given Volvo’s aims to offer only fully electric cars by 2030, this also means leather interiors are set to become a thing of the past. In addition to leather, Volvo is also actively working to find high-quality and sustainable sources for many materials currently used in the wider car industry.
The 2022 C40 Recharge is based on Volvo's CMA platform and is the first Volvo model in history designed as a pure electric car (whereas the recently-launched XC40 Recharge T5 is just a PHEV variant of regular combustion engine XC40).
Instead of leather interior options, Volvo Cars will offer its customers alternatives such as high-quality sustainable materials made from bio-based and recycled sources.
Stuart Templar, Director of global sustainability at Volvo Cars said, “Being a progressive car maker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions. Responsible sourcing is an important part of that work, including respect for animal welfare,”
He adds, “This is a journey worth taking. Having a truly progressive and sustainable mindset means we need to ask ourselves difficult questions and actively try and find answers.”
By 2025, Volvo aims for 25 per cent of the material in new Volvo cars to consist of recycled and bio-based content, as it looks to become a fully circular business by 2040, it also aims for all of its immediate suppliers, including material suppliers, to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
The company’s move towards leather-free interiors is driven by a concern about the negative environmental impacts of cattle farming, including deforestation. Livestock is estimated to be responsible for around 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, with the majority coming from cattle farming.
An example of bio-based materials is Nordico; a new interior material created by Volvo Cars will consist of textiles made from recycled material such as PET bottles, bio-attributed material from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland, and corks recycled from the wine industry. This material will make its debut in the next generation of Volvo models.
Volvo Cars will also continue to offer wool blend options from suppliers that are certified to source responsibly, as the company looks to ensure full traceability and animal welfare in its wool supply chain.
By proactively replacing these materials, Volvo hopes to take a strong and ethical position to help stop animal harm, by contributing to reduced demand for materials containing animal products.
While other premium manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Tesla also offer leather-free and sustainable interiors in certain models, Volvo is the first manufacturer to fully commit phasing out leather in all it’s interior, and do so by 2030.
Besides Volvo, EV startup Rivian is another such company that exclusively offers vegan interiors in its R1T pickup.
Arvind can't remember a time when he didn't wheel around a HotWheels car. This love evolved into an interest in Tamiya and RC cars and finally the real deal 1:1 scale stuff. Passion finally lead to formal training in Mechanical Engineering. Instead of the bigger picture, he obsesses with the final drive ratio and spring rates of cars and spends the weekends wondering why a Perodua Myvi is so fast.