Volvo electric cars will go leather-free as part of their ambitions to be more ethical.
Volvo has always understood that as a mobility provider, they play a part in climate change and have a responsibility to try and be a brand for positive change.
Well, with their promise to go all-electric by 2030, they are on their way to doing so, but Volvo is not stopping there because Volvo Cars are taking an ethical stand for animal welfare too by going leather-free, starting with the new C40 Recharge, an all-new fully electric Volvo model.
Further to that, all subsequent new Volvo full EVs will also be completely leather-free. As a commitment to that, Volvo Cars is working actively to find high-quality and sustainable sources for many materials currently used in the wider car industry.
By 2025, the company is not only aiming to have electric vehicles (EVs) comprise 50% of its sales, but it is also aiming for 25% of the materials used in new Volvo cars to consist of recycled and bio-based content, as it looks to become a fully circular business by 2040. Their suppliers too will have to take part in this climate change initiative, as part of its climate action plans also aims for all of its immediate suppliers, including material suppliers, to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.
The company’s move towards leather-free interiors is also driven by a concern about the negative environmental impacts of cattle farming, including deforestation. Livestock is estimated to be responsible for around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, with the majority coming from cattle farming.
So what kind of interior materials will future Volvo cars use, you may be asking? Well, Volvo has already started working on a synthetic material called Nordico, a new interior material consisting 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 however still continue to offer wool blend options, but they will be sourced from suppliers that are certified to provide them responsibly, as the company looks to ensure full traceability and animal welfare in its wool supply chain.
“Being a progressive car maker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions,” said 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," he continued.
“Finding products and materials that support animal welfare will be challenging, but that is no reason to avoid this important issue,” said Stuart. “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.”
Volvo Cars are also looking to reduce the use of residual products from livestock production commonly used within or in the production of plastics, rubber, lubricants and adhesives, either as part of the material or as a process chemical in the material’s production or treatment.
For those uninitiated with the Volvo C40 Recharge, the fully electric car will be the first Volvo ever in history to be designed from the ground up as a pure EV.
The pure-electric crossover will have a range of 420 kilometres according to the WLTP cycle, a 0-100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds and the ability to be fast-charged to 80% in about 40 minutes.
The C40 Recharge is due to be introduced in early 2022 and will be built alongside the XC40 Recharge at Volvo Cars' manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium.