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Kia EV9 2023: new electric SUV to debut sustainability material rollout for future models


The upcoming EV9 will sit as a beacon of sustainability when it enters the Australian market later in 2023

Kia has sustainability on its mind. The South Korean automaker aims to reach full carbon-neutrality by 2045 and will make a firm commitment to phase out the use of leather in all new products. 

The upcoming large electric SUV, the Kia EV9, is set to use several different sustainable materials as the brand’s first sustainable SUV. 

Kia has outlined ten sustainability items that will feature on the EV9 for the first time in the company’s history and are due to be widely adopted by future model lines. 

Kia EV9 2023 sustainable materials on table
Kia has used several different recycled materials for the new Kia EV9

The Kia EV9 will go on sale in Australia by the end of 2023. 

Manufacturers including Polestar, Volvo and BMW have also pledged to use more sustainable materials in their vehicles going forward. 

Sustainability for the EV9 explained 

Kia EV9 2023 sustainable interior picture
The EV9 will do away with a leather interior

Bioplastic will be used for items in the interior such as the dashboard, console, pillar trim and garnishes. Bioplastic is made from renewable biomass sources such as vegetable oils, corn extract, sawdust and sugar cane. 

Post-consumer material plastic (PCM) can be found on the door garnishes of the Kia EV9. The material is sourced from recycled materials from existing products, such as plastic bottles. 

Bio PU, also known as Bio Polyurethane, has been used for the seating material in the new Kia EV9. Kia says that Bio PU gives a soft and breathable feel, with “excellent support, cushioning and durability”. 

Kia EV9 2023 sustainable materials
Recycled fishing nets and bio foam are some of the new additions to the EV9’s interior

Recycled PET fabric, or polyethylene terephthalate, will be used in the new electric SUVs headliner, sunvisor, garnish and head rests. This material is made from recycled water bottles. Kia says that at least 70 plastic bottles are used in each EV9 made. 

PET carpet is a material that will be used for, yep, you guessed it, the carpets of the Kia EV9. This material is used from recycled fishing nets, which Kia says that around 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear ends up in the oceans each year. 

Bio PU foam is used extensively for a variety of purposes, but Kia says its Bio PU foam “offers the resilience and suppleness of standard polyurethane with a reduced impact on the planet”. This foam can be found on the new Kia EV9’s head rests. 

Kia EV9 2023 front
The Kia EV9 will launch in Australia by the end of 2023

Bio paint will be used on the door switch panels and have been made by using a natural oil product: rapeseed, rather than crude oil-based products. 

Kia has used BTX-free paint for the new Kia EV9 which uses less harmful chemicals than before. Most of the interior has been coated in this material, apart from the door switch panels, which are bio paint. 

Recycled PET yarn can be found in the seat stitching and is made from recycled PET bottles. 

Lastly, recycled PET felt has been used to help offer acoustic absorption. Kia has used this product on the luggage board of the new Kia EV9.