Volvo is putting its stake in the sand when it comes to leather in its EVs. Essentially, there will be none of it. This move comes out of concern around the environmental impacts of cattle farming, as livestock is responsible for a big slice of greenhouse gas emissions.
The move away from leather was touched on when Volvo revealed its new C40 electric crossover, but now Volvo is telling us exactly what it’s replacing the cowhides with. The main replacement is something Volvo calls “Nordico.” It’s a material designed and created by Volvo, and the company hopes it becomes the “new standard for premium interior design.”
What’s Nordico made out of, you ask? Volvo says it consists of textiles produced from recycled PET bottles, recycled cork and “bio-attributed material” sourced from forests in Sweden and Finland. Nordico is set to make an appearance in the “next generation of Volvo models,” so expect to see it rolling into dealers on new Volvo EVs soon.
In addition to Nordico, Volvo says it will continue to offer its wool blend interior options. Volvo specifically calls out that it uses wool that is certified to be sourced responsibly in the wool supply chain for the sake of animal welfare. Beyond that, Volvo is continuing to research even more materials it could use as seat and interior coverings to replace or simulate leather — we’re just not sure what those materials will be just yet.
“Being a progressive car maker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions,” says Stuart Templar, director of global sustainability at Volvo Cars. “Responsible sourcing is an important part of that work, including respect for animal welfare. Going leather-free inside our pure electric cars is a good next step towards addressing this issue.”
Volvo isn’t calling the entire interior “vegan” at this point, though. It’s planning on reducing the use of products from livestock in its plastics, rubber, lubricants and adhesives, but the cars aren’t totally devoid of reliance on animals yet.
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