News from Volvo, the Chinese owned car brand, suggests that the days of the luxury leather interior may be coming to an end. Volvo Cars is taking an ethical stand for animal welfare in its fully electric cars. Starting with the new C40 Recharge, all new fully electric Volvo models will be completely leather-free.
In the coming years, Volvo Cars will launch a completely new family of pure electric cars. By 2030 it aims to offer only fully electric cars – all of them leather-free.
As part of its ambitions to go completely leather-free, 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 aiming 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. As part of its climate action plans, it also aims for all its immediate suppliers, including material suppliers, to use 100 per cent 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.
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.
For example, 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 – setting a new standard for premium interior design. This material will make its debut in the next generation of Volvo models.
For insurers and brokers replacing synthetic interiors damaged by ingress of water might be slighty cheaper than fitting new leather, although the recovery, storage and labour costs remain exactly the same.