This is an effort to become more sustainable
A new leather-like material that is 85% less polluting will be used on steering wheels
Only trace amounts of animal products will be found in certain BMW and Mini vehicles
BMW and Mini have just announced that starting in 2023, some of their vehicles will be available with 100% vegan interiors in an effort to combat climate change.
The automotive industry generates large quantities of pollution via its assembly plants and the tailpipe emissions of its products, but another, less obvious source of pollution driven by the automotive industry is its demand for animal products.
Due to the popularity of leather upholstery in new vehicles, the automotive industry requires massive amounts of hides, which in turn require intensive cattle farming.
This is problematic because these types of farming operations generate large amounts of CO2 and other types of pollutants.
In order to reduce the emissions generated by their vehicles, BMW and Mini have developed a new material that benefits from most of the properties of leather while being more eco-friendly.
This is important because even if seats and door panels can be upholstered in cloth, steering wheels need the wear, abrasion, and sweat resistance of leather in order to maintain a satisfactory appearance after many years of driving.
The BMW Group claims that replacing leather with this new material on the steering wheels of its vehicles only will contribute to an 85% reduction in CO2e emissions generated along the entire production chain.
According to BMW and Mini, the vehicles that will feature entirely vegan interiors will see the proportion of animal products used in their manufacture fall under 1%.
The remaining substances derived from animals will mostly be found in adhesives, waxes, and paint, thus not directly in contact with the driver.