Volkswagen announces the massive arrival of recycled materials on its electric cars. The ID range will multiply leathers and other durable plastics and explain this process.
Steering wheel, seats, interior: many parts of a car are made of polluting materials. So reducing the carbon footprint of a vehicle’s interior can have a big environmental effect.
To do this, Volkswagen has decided to accelerate on the durability of materials in its electric cars. The entire ID range will receive more durable leathers and plastics. At the center of this approach: absence of animal cruelty and circular economy, for less pollution.
The manufacturer has even opened a factory that focuses exclusively on these issues. Responding to the name of Open Hybrid LabFactory (OHLF), this infrastructure is located in the suburbs of Wolfsburg. Volkswagen is looking for alternative materials for the automobile there.
“We want to shape processes, materials and components in such a way that they bring substantial improvements to the circular economy”said Marko Gernuks, representative of the OHLF council.
“To do this, we plan to develop new plastics from recycled materials. We want to automate disassembly processes to separate materials economically. We choose natural materials in biological cycles. »
Vegan leather, the future eldorado of the automotive industry thanks to electricity?
“Coffee leather” as a new material
The non-animal leather will thus come from natural origins, and precisely from coffee. Indeed, one of the protective layers of coffee beans has no use and properties close to those of leather. Volkswagen is therefore working on it to make it a durable material that will look like leather.
Martina Gottschling, who does research for Volkswagen’s innovation department, explains this approach. “The potential is huge, and this could be one of the next steps to optimize the ecological footprint of our ID electric fleet”she says.
Materials consisting of old plastic bottles, which VW reprocesses in its factory, are still at the center of the approach. We already find a large number of them in the ID.Buzz electric van.
The upholstery of its seats is made up of 90% of it, with 10% of plastics from the seabed. Between the recycling of polluting plastic and the circular economy using the remains of coffee production, Volkswagen demonstrates an interesting vision in terms of environmental protection.
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