Sustainable technologies in cars make an important contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in passenger transport. But it is not only the electric drive system and the batteries that have to meet high sustainability standards. As customers increasingly turn away from materials of animal origin. Continental’s surface specialists are devoting more and more attention to sustainable, animal-free and recycled or upcycled materials for the interior.
Continental showcased this new interior trend at the IAA MOBILITY 2021 with a converted VW T2 concept vehicle dubbed the AMBIENC3, which turns the company’s versatile portfolio of smart, functional and sustainable surfaces into a tactile experience for occupants. For example, the artificial leather is produced using only raw materials that do not contain any conventional solvents. One of the materials is a hybrid made from vinyl and polyurethane, which is robust, durable and abrasion-resistant, without compromising on feel or appearance. Surfaces in a deceptively realistic wood design, which is in fact many times lighter than real wood, help to achieve additional weight savings in the vehicle. This lowers the energy consumption and increases the range of electric cars.
Today, Continental is already furnishing the interiors of electric vehicles from almost all manufacturers. An international team of developers and designers, trend scouts and creatives at 13 locations worldwide are working on giving the drivers of the future a sense of wellbeing in their vehicles and ensuring their safety and comfort on the road. In 2021 alone, Continental manufactured a total of more than 200 million square meters of surface material, equivalent to the surface area of around 28,000 soccer stadiums.