Volvo’s electrified premium sub-brand, Polestar, is promoting sustainability in cabin materials by using recycled plastics, cork and fibers from old fishing nets.
BMW already uses fishing nets and recycled plastic bottle materials in its i3 interior. However, the Swedish automaker hopes to take sustainability to another level following in the footsteps of the vegan interior that is standard in the Polestar 2.
Working with specialists in the field, the brand aims to reduce weight, cut plastic content and lessen waste material with innovative natural and recycled source materials.
Polestar says its Bcomp composite’s “powerRibs” and “ampliTex” technologies turn natural fibers into lightweight and safety-conscious interior panels for future production models.
The composite uses flax, which has an advantage over many biomaterials because it is both ideal for use in crop rotation programs and does not directly compete with food crops.
Claiming to halve overall weight, the technology claims an 80% reduction in plastic content compared to traditional interior panels. Polestar says the composite also is structurally stronger than traditional plastics used in car interiors.
A 3D-knit material, currently seen in the fashion and active-footwear industries, can be employed as seating surfaces to reduce waste and promote recycled material sources. A single thread is used to produce a three-dimensional individual component in its entirety, and the base material is 100% recycled yarn derived from plastic bottles.
Waste is removed in the production process because the material is made exactly to size with no off-cuts.
Waste material from the cork manufacturing process in the wine industry and even whole bottle stoppers can be integrated into PVC interior components.
Recycled Nylon 6, derived from discarded fishing nets, can be turned into woven carpets and is gathered through an international collection network to infinitely regenerate this material and accept returned end-of-life products from customers and consumers.
“It’s clear that to be truly sustainable we have to evaluate every element that goes into our cars,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath says. “For Polestar, sustainability is not just about the electric powertrain.”