The Volvo Car Group is unveiling the 2021 Polestar 2 electric vehicle, and eco-conscious consumers around the world will be thrilled with what they have done with the interior of this automobile. Going head to head with Tesla Motors, the Polestar 2 promises to be the ultimate vegan ride.
Major car manufacturers offering animal-free interior options
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been trying to persuade automobile manufacturers to stop using animal hides for the leather interiors of their luxury vehicles. For the past several years, they have been working with Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen to eliminate the need for leather in their product lines.
The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS now offers a leather-free interior design that utilizes recycled plastic to create a leather-like material. VEGEA for Bentley has created a vegan leather that consists of grape skins that are leftover from the wine industry’s harvest. The Volkswagen ID.3 and e-up! electric vehicles provide options for interior packages that are both leather- and wool-free. Other major car manufacturers are getting on board with this new trend and are starting to offer animal-free interior options.
Animal-free vs. vegan interiors
It is no easy task for car manufacturers to move away from the use of animal-derived products altogether. Steering wheels, manual gear shift consoles, and interior seating upholstery are the most common places for leather use in vehicles. Even tires contain stearic acid that comes from animal byproducts.
Fortunately, auto industry leaders are beginning to understand the need to start using cruelty-free materials. They have started to eliminate the need for leather and wool and instead are utilizing animal-free options. These changes, though positive, do not make the interior 100% vegan.
To be considered vegan, the vehicle interior must consist of materials that do not come from animals. The use of synthetic materials or partially reduced animal byproducts cannot be part of the manufacturing process. According to PETA, vegan leather can be made from “innovative and sustainable materials such as pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, other fruit waste, and recycled plastic.”
Choice of eco-conscious consumers
Consumers that strive to eliminate all animal products from their lives want to sustain an ethical lifestyle. When it comes to vehicles, environmentally conscious people want to feel good about their purchasing decision. They want an eco-friendly ride with limited C02 emissions that utilizes vegan materials for the interior features. The Polestar 2 delivers in all of these categories.
The Polestar 2
The vegan material used for the interior is water-based as opposed to solvent-based. Polestar refers to the PVC-like product as WeaveTech and claims that it is inspired by wetsuit fabric. It is both moisture and dirt resistant.
In addition to a completely vegan interior, the Polestar 2 is working toward achieving full-circle sustainability. The gasoline motor that was used in the Polestar 1 model has been replaced with an electric motor that has an expected range of 275 miles. The company is dedicated to using natural and recycled materials in all of their vehicle concepts.
Polestar is also using 3D-knit fabric for the seat upholstery, which is comprised of 100 percent recycled water bottles. Recycled fishing nets are used to make the carpeting for the floor. The innovative use of sustainable materials is a dream come true for vegans and eco-conscious consumers.
What Elon Musk thinks of the Polestar 2
The dual motors provide 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque, taking less than 5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. These impressive stats put the Polestar 2 in direct competition with Tesla electric vehicles. Elon Musk recently stated in the Teslarati newsletter that “The Polestar 2 could ultimately be the first real alternative to the Model 3.“