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Kia receives environmental badge for use of bio-based plastic in new Soul electric vehicle

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Published: 3 February 2014



Kia has revealed that the company’s new Soul EV (electric vehicle), which will have its world premiere at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show starting later this week, has achieved UL Environment validation for bio-based organic carbon content for ten per cent of its interior materials. 


Various bio-based materials have been applied to the Soul EV, such as bio degradable plastic, bio-foam and bio-fabric. Unlike previous plastic materials that are based from oils, bio-based materials are derived from biomass, which is a photosynthate. Such modern biochemical technologies have replaced the majority of the existing chemistry industry by offering an alternative through development of new bio-materials.


The interior of Kia’s Soul EV includes various new materials such as ten per cent of bio-based plastic and anti-bacterial substances. Moreover, Kia has used five newly developed eco-friendly materials, including cellulose-based plastic and thermoplastic elastomer fabric.


In order to receive the UL Environment claim validation, Kia went through a 'meticulous document review' of the applied internal materials and onsite inspections of Kia’s manufacturing sites. UL Environment granted the validation to the Kia Soul EV for containing bio-based plastic of 23.942kg and bio-based organic carbon content of ten per cent.


Kia received validation badges for the weight of bio-based plastic, the content ratio of bio-based organic carbon materials, and the list of bio-based material application in the Kia Soul EV.


This achievement for the Kia Soul EV reflects the trend of the electric car transitioning from its original criteria of fuel efficiency and carbon emission to consideration of its entire product life cycle, which covers manufacturing, distribution and end-of-life recycling.


"We are proud that our Kia Soul EV has achieved both the auto industry’s and the world’s first UL Environmental claim validation for its bio-based organic carbon content for ten per cent of its interior materials," explained Jong-Dae Lim, Vice President of Material Development Center of Hyundai-Kia R&D Center, Namyang, South Korea. "We will continue our efforts to develop cutting-edge products that satisfy not only the evolving market, but also customer needs."


UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Environment describes itself as a global independent safety science company. 


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