Turning Point in Sweden
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Back to the home of the EX30, back to Gothenburg. Here they want to radically reduce CO2 emissions, with the aim of reducing them by a remarkable 90 percent between 2010 and 2030. The interesting thing about Gothenburg is that it is on the right track, even though more jobs are being created and more visitors and tourists are coming. Sounds like targeted change, which the EX30 also represents to a certain extent. Anyone who drives it is breaking new ground with Volvo. Apart from the silent drive and the compact size, there is no open-pore wood or dyed cowhide in the interior. Instead, recycled and renewable materials such as denim, flax and wool are used. Volvo has created four different interior designs, all of which are based on a sustainable approach to materials.

Meanwhile, we roll comfortably through Gothenburg. The EX30 floats easily in mild traffic. In 2021, the so-called Green City Zone was launched here - in which business, education and public institutions are working together on new technologies for vehicles and infrastructure to achieve emission-free transportation by 2030. One of the goals: The reduction of public transportation. In addition to electrification, the aim is to increase bicycle traffic to make the center more attractive and reduce parking problems.

Collaboration instead of restriction

Another important point: the electrification of city logistics. An analysis was made of how long and how far distribution vehicles travel in the city, from which the need for space, charging points and vehicles was estimated. Interesting and worth adopting: the city relies on voluntary cooperation rather than restrictions. Overall, Gothenburg is divided into business, leisure and tourism zones as well as residential areas where driving is restricted. The plan is to be completely emission-free by 2030. Gothenburg already has the largest fleet of electric buses in Sweden. This fits into the picture, as all transport systems and their drives are being put to the test: Which ones will be electric in the future, which ones will run on hydrogen and which ones can be replaced by (cargo) bicycles. The spirit is infectious. This is probably why the EX30 exists - a small Volvo with big goals. Anyone who knows its place of origin knows how committed Gothenburg is to the transport revolution. The new Volvo - even if it is still produced in China - fits in well with this. 

Three questions to Dan Fidgett - Head of Colors and Materials, Volvo

He joined the Swedes in 2021. Before that Dan worked in the fashion and sports industries for Adidas, Puma and others.

Why is Volvo breaking new ground with the EX30 interior?

Dan Fidgett: Our task and goal was to develop the most sustainable Volvo to date with the lowest CO2 footprint of all the vehicles we have produced. This raised the following questions for our interior design team: How do we go about this? How can we make this happen? We wanted every material to have these questions as a starting point for every development: Is this material really needed? What is its purpose? What message of sustainability and circular economy do we want to convey with it? This really challenged us to go from form to function and think more deeply about responsible design.

What was the most difficult decision regarding the materials that were used?

Dan Fidgett: We had to realign the process of “form follows function”. We started with a technical point of view and allowed the aesthetics to grow organically from these principles. In redefining premium, we have learned that this leads to wonderful results. For example, the flax and denim in each vehicle is unique. It's like having your own bespoke piece of art in your car that celebrates the process and the natural characteristics of the materials used. It's very different to the old forms of premium and has been a challenging but rewarding process.

Can you tell us a little more more about the circular economy, which is due to start in 2040?

Dan Fidgett: The EX30 was a starting point for us to begin exploring a circular economy process and help us achieve our goals for 2040 and beyond. Our ultimate goal, so to speak, and our fixed point on the horizon.

"The EX30 was a starting point for us to begin exploring a circular economy process."
Dan Fidgett - Head of Colors and Materials, Volvo