Have you ever wondered why so many automakers are starting to fabricate and upholster interiors in sustainable materials, like plant-based and recycled fabrics?
Axios recently published a short article explaining the trend. According to them, federal law requires that automakers must be carbon neutral by 2050. To hit that goal, many added electric vehicles to their lineups. But because people aren’t buying EVs quickly enough, automakers need to find new, creative ways to make their vehicles carbon neutral by the deadline — which is why they’re using plant-based textiles and recycled materials.
Automakers hope using sustainable materials will dramatically reduce their carbon footprint by 2050. The question is, are these materials as good as plastic?
“The industry’s been making interiors out of plastic for 70 years, so the supply chain is pretty good at it,” says Stephen Kosowski, manager of long-range strategy and planning for Kia America. “To engineer new parts that are as durable, and have the same look and feel and that will last as long as plastic, is not easy.”
“I think we’ve cracked the code on durability,” he added, before saying the cost of developing sustainable materials is a challenge.
At least now we know why there’s a mad rush for these materials.