Skoda Prioritizes Sustainability, Uses Olive Tree Leaves To Tan the Enyaq iV's Leather

Automakers must come up with various solutions besides zero-emission powertrains to make their vehicle more sustainable. For instance, Skoda Enyaq iV customers that opt for the EcoSuite Design Selection can have their vehicle's seats upholstered in leather tanned with olive tree leaves. This detail is one of the steps Skoda is taking toward a more sustainable future.
Eco-friendly leather for Skoda Enyaq iV 7 photos
Photo: Skoda
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Although genuine leather use is sometimes frowned upon nowadays, Skoda explains that it uses leather that would end up as meat industry waste in landfills, as well as olive tree leaves that would be burnt, so no trees are cut down to obtain the leaves.

Unlike the conventional tanning process, which uses chemicals, the leather is rendered with a special extract from the leaves of olive trees. Furthermore, this extract contains a substance that olive trees make to repel animal pests. Skoda explains that the process of obtaining this extract is similar to infusing tea, and it meets the strictest criteria set by the food industry.

Around 215,000 olive leaves are required to develop the tanning extract for a single Enyaq iV. In fact, Skoda wouldn't be able to use leather without it being treated with the extract. The resulting product, which Skoda named Olivenleder, respects all the automaker's strict quality requirements regarding appearance, durability, and overall feel, vetted by both machine tests and tests carried out by independent experts. To showcase the eco-friendliness trait of this material, Skoda added a small tag on the seats that reads "Eco Olive Leather."

Johannes Neft, the Škoda board member responsible for technical development, explains that the Czech brand always takes an innovative approach to each detail and component, all while prioritizing circular economy standards.

Eco\-friendly leather for Skoda Enyaq iV
Photo: Skoda
Leather tanned with olive leaf extract is just one of Skoda's initiatives that involve environmentally friendly materials and processes in producing its vehicles. For instance, upholstery made from recycled materials can also be discovered in the Karoq SUV, with fabrics produced from 70% recycled PET bottles.

But still, the Olivenleder is an extra for the Enyaq, part of the EcoSuite Design Selection. Skoda expects that all the natural leather upholstery in its car will be produced in eco-friendly ways.

The Enyaq iV is Skoda's most upcycled car – 13.1 kg (29 lbs.) of recycled plastic is used across the vehicle's exterior. Moreover, 40% of the steel used in its production is recycled, 50% of the aluminum, as well as 20% of the side window panes. Some other upcycled materials are integrated, also depending on which trim grade you opt for.

Skoda recently announced that the Enyaq iV would join the top-of-the-line L&K (Laurin and Klement) family, meaning customers will be able to get their hands on an upgraded, premium version of the EV.

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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
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Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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