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Volvo Cars has invested in lightweight materials producer, Bcomp.

Based in Switzerland, Bcomp uses flax fibres to develop high-performance lightweight materials. Flax fibres offer “significant” savings in terms of weight, energy use, and emissions versus regular plastic parts. The material also offers some nice aesthetic benefits, as well.

Volvo made the investment through its Tech Fund venture capital arm and is aiming to use Bcomp’s materials in the next generation of electric vehicles. Volvo sub-brand Polestar will also use Bcomp’s materials in forthcoming models. 

“This investment is yet another example of our commitment to sustainability and strategic focus on reducing our carbon footprint,” says Alexander Petrofski, Head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.

Volvo Concept Recharge Interior
The Volvo Concept Recharge’s Interior with Bcomp’s fabrics

“We have a long tradition of partnering with leading technology firms such as Bcomp, as we see joint benefits in helping them to scale and develop innovative products in global markets.”

Volvo used Bcomp’s materials in its most recent concept car, the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge. According to Bcomp, the materials used are up to 50% lighter, use 70% less plastic and generate 62% lower CO2 emissions.

“We’re very encouraged by the possibilities offered by flax composites, which is why we used them both in the interior and on the exterior of the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge,” says Robin Page, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.

“It is a material that is environmentally responsible with a very low carbon footprint that also delivers an attractive and natural aesthetic.”

Inside the Volvo Cars Concept Recharge, Volvo Cars has used a flax composite for the lower storage areas, the back of the headrest and the footrest. On the exterior of the car, the front and rear bumpers as well as the sill mouldings consist of flax composites.

Volvo Cars is looking to reduce emissions and become climate neutral by 2040 and the use of more sustainable materials is expected to be a big part of that.  

Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

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