Is it possible to purchase a car that’s 100% vegan?
With more and more electric cars being produced for demanding environmentally-conscious consumers, what’s next in store for green cars of the future? Cars that are 100% vegan.
A 2016 survey revealed that the number of vegans in the UK has grown by 360% in the last 10 years. That’s an increasing number of people refraining from eating, wearing or purchasing any kind of animal product, including meat, dairy, eggs, animal fats and leather.
Being vegan is a lifestyle movement that appears to be picking up speed, and so the search for a vegan car has become something of a talking point. A quick search will, however, bring up a few conflicting opinions on vegan cars. One example is the BMW i3. Many articles online celebrate and rejoice of its ‘vegan’ design, however this has been disputed in one blog article which highlights that it in fact comes with a leather wrapped steering wheel – certainly not vegan.
What cars are vegan-friendly?
The subject of the steering wheel and gear stick is where things become blurred. If requested, there are often non-leather seat options for some mass produced cars in the UK, but they often don’t take into account the materials used on the steering wheel and gear stick.
The same writer that disputed the vegan qualities of the BMW i3 spent 4 months compiling his own research into what cars are completely vegan, noting that many manufacturers had very hard to source information regarding the materials used.
What he found was that Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Mini, Volvo, Lexus, Alfa Romeo and Porsche offer no 100% leather-free interiors on any of their cars despite counter articles stating otherwise, even PETA.
However, he did manage to find cars which are 100% leather free, including Ford Focus (base model), Honda Civic, Honda HRV, Honda CV (base models), Subaru Crosstrek and Outback (base models), Mazda 3, 3-Sport, CX-3, CX-5 and 6, Toyota Camry, Corolla, Yaris and Prius (base models) and more.
This shows that while it may be possible to get hold of a vegan car, for now at least, when it comes to big manufacturers they seem to remain at ‘base model’ level.
Can there be such a thing as a ‘luxury vegan car’?
Leather, for many car buyers is synonymous with luxury. This makes it difficult for vegan car lovers who want to drive something refined and smart, yet ethical.
There has been one game changer of recent in the form of the Tesla’s new luxury SUV – the Model X. Offering a completely 100% vegan leather option hailed ‘Ultra White’, it’s a synthetic leather used in place of real leather on the seats, steering wheel and gear stick. However, this isn’t the first time they’ve openly offered a vegan option for their cars’ interiors. The Tesla Model S has vegan-friendly choices including synthetic leather and a custom vegan steering wheel.
So in conclusion, it appears if you do the proper research and look hard enough, it’s possible to find a 100% vegan car. But for now at least, there are limitations when it comes to luxury vehicles. With Tesla leading the way, it will be interesting to see what the future of vegan cars holds.