Automotive Volvo Cars' new leather free material for its next generation cars

Published on September 24th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Will Malaysians Buy Leather-Free Volvo EVs?

Volvo will not offer leather interiors on their electric vehicles.

Volvo Cars has just announced that their fully-electric cars will not be available with leather interiors at all. This will begin with the Volvo C40. It was already known from launch that the C40 would be Volvo’s first leather-free car, but now the company is going a step further by excluding the material from all their future EVs.

Volvo C40 Recharge Interior

How Will Malaysian Customers React?

Volvo Car Malaysia does not sell any electric vehicles in Malaysia just yet, so for now it’s probably not a problem Malaysian customers have to contend with. However, all of their PHEV models are represented in Malaysia. And when it comes to their PHEV strategy in our country, they seem to want to pack as many luxury features in these cars as possible. That includes loads of Nubuck and Nappa leathers on everything from the XC40 to the XC90. After being spoiled with such fine materials, will Volvo’s Malaysian customer base be happy to pay an equal amount of money for alternative materials?

Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 interior

Why is Volvo Cars going leather-free on EVs

This is an ethical stance for Volvo Cars who cite the negative environmental effects of cattle farming. Apparently, a majority of greenhouse gases coming from livestock comes from cattle farming. By 2025, Volvo Cars want 25% of the material in new Volvo Cars to be from recycled or bio-based sources. By 2040, they want to achieve a fully circular business model. The company also aims to have all its suppliers switch to 100% renewable energy by 2025. This includes material suppliers.

BHPetrol_Euro5 Diesel_2021

Volvo Cars is 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.

Volvo C40 Recharge Interior

By aiming to actively replace these materials as much as possible, Volvo Cars takes a strong and ethical position to reduce animal harm by reducing demand for materials like leather.

What materials will Volvo use instead?

Instead of leather, Volvo Cars will offer high-quality sustainable materials.

One example is Nordico, which is a textile derived from recycled materials such as PET bottles, bio material from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland, as well as recycled corks from the wine industry. Nordico will appear on the next wave of Volvo Car products.

Volvo Cars' new leather free material for its next generation cars consists 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

Volvo Cars will also continue to offer wool on its products. However, they will ensure to source the wool responsibly and look at full traceability and animal welfare throughout their supply chain for the material.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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