Every morning I wake up with heaps of existential dread over the state of our planet. Antarctica is too hot. Australia is on fire. There are massive locust swarms in East Africa. I am far from claiming Polestar is the one that’ll turn this shit around, but I do appreciate the push for sustainable interiors on its future cars.
Geely-owned Polestar is aiming to cut weight, reduce plastic content and lower waste material in its future cars by using natural and recycled source materials, according to a company press release. For example, Bcomp, a Swiss natural fiber composite company, has technology that can turn flax into lightweight interior panels. Polestar claims this will result in a 50 percent reduction in overall weight and an 80 percent reduction in plastic content.
Further, seat surfaces can be made from the 3D-knit material that’s used in active shoes and fashion. “A single thread is used to produce a three-dimensional individual component in its entirety,” says Polestar. The base material is 100 percent recycled yarn that’s made from polyethylene terephthalate bottles. So, instead of floating around in the ocean and choking a dolphin, you can sit on it instead.
Finally, cork and fishing nets can be useful, too. Waste from cork production and whole bottle stoppers can be used in polyvinyl chloride components. Fishing nets, so harmful when improperly disposed of, can provide recycled Nylon 6 and be turned into carpets.
It’s kind of a funny juxtaposition here, as car production can result in a huge amount of carbon dioxide emissions by itself (mining for resources, manufacturing parts, transporting, etc.). But all the same, if this idea takes off, it means that perhaps recycling technology can make it into more of the thousands and thousands of cars Geely makes. It’s a start. Maybe one day it’ll even be cheap enough to replace the normal materials.