When the BMW i3 first came to market, it had an unusual interior with odd looking materials throughout. The reason for its odd looking materials and funky cabin was the fact that it was entirely sustainable and all of the interior materials were recycled. In fact, thanks to the brand using fake leather and olive oil-based dyes, it was even vegan. This went over well with fans of sustainable, renewable materials and it seems that the Audi e-tron could be going to a similar route.
During an interview with Motor1, Audi e-tron product manager Matt Mostafaei said the brand has looked into vegan materials. “We’ve had some customer requests for that. And definitely moving forward, we’re looking at all sorts of new materials, both for inlays, and trims, seats, and things like that are more environmentally friendly”.
It’s also not something entirely foreign to Audi, as Mostafaei pointed out. “If you remember our e-tron GT debut, it had a fully recycled, fully vegan interior,” Mostafaei continued. “We used fish nets and things like that in the car. So that kind of shows where we’re looking and where we’re headed in terms of sustainability in the interior.”
Customers of electric vehicles often try to be as green as absolutely possible. Whether it be using solar power to charge the car or using vegan materials, EV customers want to reduce their carbon footprints by as much as humanly possibly. So if the Audi e-tron were to ever offer a vegan interior, one with materials other than leather, it would certainly be something that customers would buy.
“If we ever offered a material like that, I think it would be safe to say it would meet customer demand.” said Mostafaei.
Personally, I’m not a vegan but I can get behind the use of alternative materials inside car cabins. It’s interesting to see automakers come up with different ideas for interiors, rather than the traditional ones we’ve seen for decades. While I do think there’s some merit to the idea that the only three materials allowed inside a car are leather, wood and metal, I like the idea of alternative materials in EVs. So bring on the vegan interior, Audi, people will buy it.