As automakers invest and develop electric vehicles, they are reimagining more than just the powertrain. For many brands, battery-electric vehicles will also usher in new, sustainable materials to be used throughout vehicles. A new design study from Callum takes a peek into such a future, using various everyday waste products to craft a tasteful interior for a restomod Porsche 911.
Callum looked beyond the typical materials automakers are using today and discovered uncommon waste materials companies could one day use in vehicles. The design firm identified coffee pulp, eggshells, red lentils, walnuts, and rice as possibilities, using the waste in various ways throughout the 911's cabin.
Gallery: Restomod Porsche 911 With Sustainable Interior By Callum
The design studio consulted with a green-tech company, Ottan, and discovered that eggshells mixed with resin could create a smooth, opaque material with either a glossy or matte finish. Callum used it on the window switch trim. Adding walnuts to the mixture increased the material's recycled content from 78 to 84 percent.
Callum learned that out-of-date rice or lentils could be used to create a translucent material that's ideal for lamp covers or illuminated switches. The design studio also used coffee pulp, a flame-resistant alternative to traditional plastics. Automakers could use the material for decorative trim.
Plastic was another material Callum used, using a fabric called Camira that's made from marine plastic waste for the seat centers. The company also used Feline, a soft material produced from PET bottles, for the seat bolsters. The sustainable materials came without a weight penalty.
While the design study is just a concept, Callum selected materials that already meet or could meet automotive requirements by 2030. Callum's next step is to test the materials in upcoming projects. The design house has already engineered a hemp/flax composite that buyers can select for its Barq EV scooter.
You could begin seeing coffee pulp and recycled lentils in car interiors sometime soon, as automakers are exploring such alternatives. BMW revealed the iVision Circular in 2021, a concept made from 100 percent recyclable materials, and it plans to use recycled fishing nets in vehicles starting in 2025. Volvo proudly highlighted its push to use sustainable materials like PET bottles and pine resin in the new EX90, which contains almost 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of recycled plastics and bio-based materials in the vehicle.