Volvo Cars has made a strategic investment in Bcomp. This innovative Swiss firm develops high-performance, lightweight materials based on natural fibres through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, its venture capital arm.
Bcomp uses flax fibres to create its bio-based material that offers significant savings in weight, energy use, and emissions versus regular plastic parts. The material also enables design options for aesthetic surfaces.
Volvo Cars used Bcomp’s materials in its most recent concept car, the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge. Bcomp’s calculations show that compared to regular plastic parts, the natural fibre-based composites are up to 50 per cent lighter, use up to 70 per cent less plastic and generate up to 62 per cent lower CO2 emissions.
“This investment is yet another example of our commitment to sustainability and strategic focus on reducing our carbon footprint,” said Alexander Petrofski, Head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “We have a long tradition of partnering with leading technology firms such as Bcomp. We see mutual benefits in helping them scale and develop innovative products in global markets.”
In the summer of 2021, the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge demonstrates the steps Volvo Cars aims to take in all areas of pure electric car development to reduce its cars’ and overall carbon footprint. The company plans to sell only fully electric vehicles by 2030 and aims to be a neutral climate business by 2040.
“We’re very encouraged by the possibilities offered by flax composites, so we used them both in the interior and exterior of the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge,” said Robin Page, Senior Vice President of Design at Volvo Cars. “It is an environmentally responsible material with a shallow carbon footprint that also delivers an attractive and natural aesthetic.”
Inside the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge, Volvo Cars have used a flax composite for the lower storage areas, the back of the headrest and the footrest. On the car’s exterior, the front and rear bumpers and the sill mouldings consist of flax composites.
The ambition to constantly reduce emissions and become climate neutral by 2040 is part of Volvo Cars’ climate action plan, one of the most ambitious in the industry. By 2025, the company aims to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions per car by 40 per cent compared to 2018.
Financial details of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund investment in Bcomp were not disclosed.
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