May 21

The cars with eco-friendly interiors


Everyone is being encouraged to recycle more than ever, such as households looking to reduce the amount of single-use plastics used. It’s a valiant endeavour, too, with the aim of lowering the detrimental impact we have on the environment striking a chord with many.

It’s hitting home with car manufacturers too. In an effort to bring down their environmental impact, not only are vehicle makers turning their attention to lower-emissions vehicles but also recycled interiors. Here are some of the earliest adopters of recycled materials in car interiors that we’ve seen.

BMW i3

Despite being one of the older options in the electric car segment, the i3 pioneered an eco-friendly interior when it was introduced by BMW back in 2013. The interior was as cutting-edge as the materials it used, which means that even today it looks surprisingly up-to-date.

The i3 pioneered the use of recycled interior materials.The i3 pioneered the use of recycled interior materials.

Much of the interior is made from kenaf – a lightweight material taken from the mallow plant – while the seats are crafted from sustainable wool. Even the dashboard is finished in quick-growing eucalyptus.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

It’s little wonder that another electric vehicle features next on this list. After all, most manufacturers see electrified powertrains as the future, while recycled materials show that they’re environmentally aware of more than just engines alone.

The Ioniq utilises ground-up volcanic rock.The Ioniq utilises ground-up volcanic rock.

The Ioniq Electric is one such car. Creators Hyundai went for a different tack when using recycled materials inside, lowering the weight of the interior plastics by 20 per cent through the use recycled plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone.

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Polestar 2

Polestar is right at the cutting edge of electric car performance, and thanks to its latest ‘2’ model, the Volvo spin-off company is showcasing a wider range of vehicles. As a wholly electric company, it’ll come as no surprise that Polestar is looking into sustainable materials, too.

The Polestar 2 makes use of recycled materials.The Polestar 2 makes use of recycled materials.

The 2 uses a natural fibre composite to help reduce plastic content while lowering the overall weight. In addition, the car’s seats are made using recycled plastic bottles, and many of the interior plastics use waste cork products. The carpets are made from recycled fishing nets, too.

Ford EcoSport

As one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, there’s certainly a lot of pressure on Ford to make sure its products are made as sustainably as possible. The Blue Oval is, like most manufacturers, on course to an electrified future, which shows some of its commitment to lowering emissions.

Plastic bottles are recycled and used for the EcoSport’s carpets.Plastic bottles are recycled and used for the EcoSport’s carpets.

On a more current level, however, are the recycled materials used in the latest EcoSport crossover. The carpets are made from recycled plastic bottles – 470 of them, in fact.

Renault Zoe

Another entry and another electric vehicle. The Renault Zoe has, much like the i3, been around for some time now. However various updates have helped it to stay current ensuring that it remains one of the best choices in the electric segment.

The Zoe uses a variety of recycled materials in its interior.The Zoe uses a variety of recycled materials in its interior.

It’s got an environmentally conscious interior, too. In fact, the fabric used in the cabin is made up of recycled seat belts, textile cut-offs and recovered plastic bottles. The creation of this material is better for the environment too, with CO2 emissions down by 60 per cent compared with the production of standard materials.

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