Let’s face it: Impact on animals and the environment isn’t exactly a priority when buying a new car, even though it should be. But recent trends seem to indicate that this is changing, and people are at least becoming aware of the issues. We look forward to a time when those in the market for a new set of wheels will base their decision on which makes and models are the most sustainable as much as on things like performance and looks.
Carmakers are catching up to the trend. More brands are putting sustainability front and center to their operations, and while no car is, as yet, 100% vegan, there are brands that are making more of an effort to lessen their impact on the environment.
Car and motorcycle retailer Dick Lovett recently published a report looking at the most vegan-friendly car brands in the world. The list is based on research published by animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that looked at which carmakers offered the most number of vegan and eco-friendly models as of December 2021.
Taking the top spot is Ford, with a total of 28 car models with vegan-friendly details and more eco-friendly swaps upon request. The report highlighted the Ford Fiesta, whose latest models come with non-leather seats as standard, including the Style, Zetec, B&O Play Zetec, and Ford EcoBoost.
Most vegan-friendly car brands in the world
- Ford (28 models)
- Honda (20 models)
- Nissan (19 models)
- Smart (17 models)
- Chevrolet (15 models)
- Kia (15 models)
- Hyundai (14 models)
- Mercedes-Benz (13 models)
- Citroen (8 models)
- Toyota (8 models)
- Subaru (6 models)
- Vauxhaull (6 models)
- BMW (5 models)
- Land Rover (5 models)
- Dacia (5 models)
- Renault (5 models)
- Buick (3 models)
- GMC (3 models)
- Peugeot (3 models)
- Tesla (3 models)
- Volkswagen (3 models)
- Fiat (1 model)
- Mini (1 model)
- Porsche (1 model)
- Polestar (1 model)
“All Fiestas, with the exception of the Style (base model) are fitted with leather steering wheels, however these can be replaced with a non-leather alternative upon request, while the Ford Mustang Mach-E comes standard with all-vegan interiors, including a vegan steering wheel,” the report said.
The rest of the brands in the top 10 include Honda (20 vegan-friendly car models), Nissan (19), Smart (17), Chevrolet (15), Kia (15), Hyundai (14), Mercedes-Benz (13), Citroen (8), and Toyota (8).
About Mercedes-Benz, the report said the brand’s B-Class, A-Class, CLA Coupe, CLA Shooting Brake, and V-Class all come with a vegan interior as standard. “The AMG GLB 35 is available to be requested with a choice of either Mercedes’ Artico man-made leather or Dinamica, a type of man-made suede. When it comes to the A-Class, you can either specify fabric seats, or Artico, but be aware that it comes with a real leather interior unless requested otherwise.”
Meanwhile, for the first time, buyers of the latest Range Rover can now request a completely vegan interior, which is said to generate just a quarter of the carbon-dioxide emissions that real leather does.
While Teslas are fully-electric, only three of its models have ecologically friendly features: the X, the 3, and the S. “Whilst the X and S both have leather-free seats, the 3 comes with synthetic materials used all throughout its cabin, with Tesla claiming that the interior of the car is 100% leather-free,” the report says.
When requested, Porche’s Taycan comes with non-leather choices, as well as Race-Tex microfiber, which is similar to a semi-synthetic suede. The floor coverings of the vehicle are also manufactured from recycled fishing nets.
“The bottom line is that there’s no such thing as a 100% vegan car, unfortunately,” says Dominika Piasecka, a spokesperson for the Vegan Society. “The key with veganism is trying to do your best. It’s not possible to be 100% vegan in this imperfect world, but we can avoid animal suffering as much as possible. Avoiding leather is a practical thing we can do while buying a car, while we can’t of course avoid tires or steel.”
NOTE: This article first appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made.
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