Volvo Cars has made a strategic investment in Bcomp, an innovative Swiss firm that develops high-performance lightweight materials based on natural fibres, through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, its venture capital arm.
To create its materials, Bcomp uses flax fibres, a bio-based material that offers significant savings in terms of weight, energy use and emissions versus regular plastic parts. The material also enables design options for aesthetic surfaces.
Tthe use of Bcoup’s natural fibre composites will feature in Volvo’s next generation of pure electric cars. 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.
Bcoup’s materials was incorporated into recent Volvo Concept Recharge. This demonstrates the steps Volvo Cars aims to take in all areas of pure electric car development to reduce its cars’ and its overall carbon footprint. The company plans to sell only fully electric cars by 2030 and aims to be a climate-neutral business by 2040.
Inside the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge, Volvo Cars has used a flax composite for the lower storage areas, the back of the headrests and the footrests. On the exterior of the car, the front and rear bumpers as well as 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. Already by 2025, the company aims to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions per car by 40 per cent compared with 2018.