UL Environment is the environmental business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratory), a global independent safety science company.
Various bio-based materials have been applied to the Kia 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 10 percent 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 10 percent.
UL Environment presented Kia with validation badges for:
1) Weight of bio-based plastic
2) Content ratio of bio-based organic carbon materials, and
3) 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.
The Kia Soul EV will have its world premiere at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show starting later this week.