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Volvo C40 Recharge 2022: leather-free interior in Volvo’s first EV


Volvo has committed to removing animal products from the interiors of its electric vehicles, starting with the C40 Recharge SUV.

The Volvo C40 Recharge represents two firsts for the Swedish brand: it will become the company’s first dedicated electric SUV model, but it also be the first Volvo to farewell natural leather as an interior trim.

From the C40 onwards, Volvo has stated that all future fully-electric vehicles will be leather-free.

The C40 Recharge has been confirmed for Australia and will arrive on our shores towards the end of 2022, following the arrival of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric small SUV this year.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge charging
The 2022 C40 Recharge will be quick to ‘fill up’, with 80 percent charge possible in 30 minutes using a 150kW system.

Powering the all-electric Recharge will be dual electric motors (one on each axle) which will produce a combined output of 300kW and 660Nm that will go to all four wheels. 

This will help propel the Volvo to 100km/h in a claimed 4.7 seconds. Fitted with a 78kWh battery pack, the C40 Recharge will have an estimated range of around 480km on the WLTP testing cycle. 

The C40 is capable of DC rapid charging at speeds of up to 150kW. Using a 150kW+ charger, the SUV can be charged from 0 to 80 percent in 30 minutes, with the charge session averaging 125kW.

Volvo to abandon leather trim in EVs

According to the Swedish manufacturer, it is working actively to find high quality and sustainable alternatives to the many materials commonly used in the automotive industry. 

By 2025, the company is aiming to make 25 percent of all material used consist of recycled and bio-based content. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge interior
Leather will be ditched in favour of more sustainable materials.

Part of that effort will be the removal of leather interiors, which has been inspired by the concern for the negative environmental impacts of farming, including deforestation. 

Volvo says that livestock is estimated to be responsible for 14 percent of global greenhouse emissions, largely through cattle farming. 

To offset the loss of leather, Volvo has created a new interior material called Nordico, which is made from recycled materials such as PET bottles, bio-attributed material from forests in Sweden and Finland and cork recycled from the wine industry. 

Volvo Sustainability materials
Sustainable wood, wine cork and recycled water bottles will help make up Volvo’s new interior.

“Being a progressive car maker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions,” said Stuart Templar, director of global sustainability at Volvo Cars. 

“Responsible sourcing is an important part of that work, including respect for animal welfare. Going leather-free inside our pure electric cars is a good next step towards addressing this issue.

“Having a truly progressive and sustainable mindset means we need to ask ourselves difficult questions and actively try and find answers,” he said. 

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge interior 2
Volvo is always on the lookout for more sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

With the exception of breathable cloth, artificial seat upholstery in the past has struggled to shrug off Australian heat in summer where it is not also actively ventilated.

We’ll be testing the heat performance of Nordico – and the rest of the Volvo C40 Recharge – when the electric SUV launches in Australia next year.