Kia has a strong track record of integrating sustainable materials into its products, dating back to the use of bioplastic and sugar cane bio-fibre in the 2014 Soul EV. Over the years, Kia has continued to prioritise sustainability by incorporating plant-based components, recycled PET, and discarded fishing nets into its fabrics and carpets.
In line with its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, Kia has now unveiled its comprehensive Design Sustainability Strategy. This initiative aims to scale up sustainability efforts while ensuring the best material solutions for all new model lines.
As part of this strategy, Kia has made two significant commitments. Firstly, the brand will completely phase out the use of leather in all future products. Secondly, Kia will integrate ‘10 essential sustainability items’ into its new model lines, starting with the EV9.
Bioplastic: This versatile and durable material is made from renewable biomass sources like vegetable oils, corn extract, sawdust, and sugar cane. It helps reduce reliance on fossil fuels, offers diversified sourcing, and minimises exposure to unwanted chemicals. Bioplastic is used in various components of the EV9’s interior design, from the dashboard to the garnishes.
Post-consumer material (PCM) plastic: This innovative plastic is created using recycled materials from existing products, reducing plastic waste and conserving non-renewable resources. The EV9 incorporates PCM plastic in its door garnishes, contributing to waste reduction and landfill regeneration.
Bio PU: To replace leather, Kia has identified Bio Polyurethane (PU) as an optimal solution. Bio PU reduces carbon emissions and includes plant-based components, providing a sustainable and comfortable seating experience. It can be found in the seats and interior coverings of the EV9.
Recycled PET fabric: Known for its recyclability, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used in various interior areas of the EV9, including seats, headliners, and garnishes. Kia goes a step further by using recycled PET yarn, ensuring sustainability and durability while incorporating at least 70 recycled bottles per EV9.
Recycled PET carpet: Kia uses 100% recycled PET to create its standard carpets, with an option to incorporate recycled fishing nets. By addressing the problem of discarded fishing nets in oceans, Kia mitigates environmental impact while creating innovative solutions.
Bio PU foam: Known for its durability and compression characteristics, Polyurethane (PU) foam is used for cushioning. Kia’s Bio PU foam is made with natural oils, reducing environmental impact while providing comfort. It can be found in the headrests of the EV9.
Bio paint: Kia’s bio paint, made from rapeseed oil, offers a more sustainable alternative to petroleum-based paints. It reduces chemical waste associated with traditional manufacturing processes and can be found on the door switch panels of the EV9.
BTX-free paint: Kia has replaced harmful benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) with BTX-free paints, ensuring high-quality protection while minimizing the use of polluting chemicals. The EV9’s interior is mostly adorned with BTX-free paints, except for the door window switch panel coated with bio paint.
Recycled PET yarn: The yarn used for certain cabin applications in Kia’s models is made from 100% recycled PET bottles. More than 70 recycled PET bottles are utilized across the EV9’s interior, particularly in the seat stitching.
Recycled PET felt: Soft and durable, recycled PET felt is used in the EV9’s luggage board. It offers good acoustic absorption, reducing sound transmission within the cabin and enhancing the driving experience.
Kia’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the EV9, which incorporates these ten must-have sustainability items. By prioritizing eco-friendly materials and advancing sustainable technologies, Kia is evidently taking significant steps towards a more sustainable future.