Volvo Cars has been proactive in exploring the use of natural fibre composites for its next generation of 100% electric vehicles. This has seen the company invest into Bcomp – a Swiss firm that develops high-performance lightweight materials based on natural fibres – through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.
To create these natural based materials, Bcomp uses flax fibres, a bio-based material which offers manufacturers noteworthy savings when it comes to energy use, weight and emissions when compared to regular plastic parts.
Volvo Cars have recently used Bcomp’s material in the company’s most recent concept car – the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge.
This latest concept vehicle demonstrated that by using Bcomp’s natural fibre-based composites up to 70% less plastic was used, parts were up to 50% lighter and generated up to 62% lower CO2 emissions.
Speaking on the investment, Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volco Cars tech fund said: “This investment is yet another example of our commitment to sustainability and strategic focus on reducing our carbon footprint.”
“We have a long tradition of partnering with leading technology firms such as Bcomp because we see joint benefits in helping them to scale and develop innovative products in global markets.”
The Volvo Cars Concept Recharge aims to highlight the steps which Volvo Cars aims to take in all areas of the electric car sector to reduce the car’s overall carbon footprint.
The launch of this concept is a step in the right direction for the company who aim to sell only fully electric cars by 2030 and be a climate-neutral business by 2040.
Inside the Volco Cars Concept Recharge, the natural-based fibre composites have been used for the lower storage areas, footrests, and the back of the headrests. When looking at the exterior of the car the material has been used on the front and rear bumpers as well as the sill mouldings.
“We’re very encouraged by the possibilities offered by flax composites, which is why we used them both in the interior and on the exterior of the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge,” commented Robin Page, senior vice president design at Volvo Cars. “It is a material that is environmentally responsible with a very low carbon footprint that also delivers an attractive and natural aesthetic.”