Tesla Model S Interior Presents $30,000 Vegan Leather Cabin At Petersen Automotive Museum

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It's called banbu. Guess what it's made of.

Von Holzhausen, a leading material innovation company based in the USA, debuted its new banbu vegan leather interior in a Tesla Model S. As you can probably guess from the name, the material is made from recycled bamboo, and you can already buy it for your Tesla for $29,995.

To make cars as environmentally friendly as possible, automakers have started taking a more holistic approach to building vehicles. Instead of simply focusing on the power source, manufacturers are seeking alternative methods of construction that require fewer raw materials mined from the earth.

In order to alleviate the issue, some manufacturers are opting to use recycled materials instead of manufacturing brand-new parts. While some continue to kill and peel cows, others are trading in leather seats for alternative materials.

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Von Holzhausen has recently partnered with Unplugged Performance to create and showcase a one-of-a-kind Tesla Model S Plaid with an interior wholly upholstered in banbu.

Banbu leather is completely animal free, has a low carbon footprint, and is biodegradable, recycled, non-toxic, stain-resistant, water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and lightweight. This new material is a boon for manufacturers looking for sustainable interior options, and von Holzhausen also makes some pretty stylish clothing accessories.

The car forms part of an exhibition called Inside Tesla: Supercharging the Electric Revolution, which is being held at the Petersen Automotive Museum. This unique Tesla will be raffled off closer to the end of the exhibit, with the proceeds going to the museum to continue its support of the automotive industry.

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So, what makes this material so great? Banbu leather is an entirely animal-free material made from the most renewable raw material on Earth: bamboo.

This material is 83% plant-based, weighs one-third of cow leather, and has a 33% lower carbon footprint than your average animal leather product. The leather is partially made from post-consumer plastic and is high-performing, scratch, stain and water resistant, and soft to the touch.

But as we said at the outset, it's not cheap, and if the standard offering is not fancy enough for you, a bespoke interior made from the stuff will cost you at least $40,000 through Unplugged Performance.

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Banbu leather is manufactured by first harvesting sustainably grown bamboo. The Bamboo plants are harvested and cut into chips, then turned into a soft pulp. The naturally occurring fibers are then extracted and spun into yarn. The yarn is then woven into plant-based leather and treated with a unique top coat to give it its hard-wearing characteristic.

As mentioned earlier, the banbu interior is already available on von Holzhausen's website, retailing for no less than $29,995. It can be retrofitted to an existing model or commissioned on all Tesla's new cars, including those that don't yet exist, like the Cybertruck and second-generation Roadster.

The option is only available on a limited basis because it requires detailed craftsmanship. Available colors include Serrano (Red), Black, Stone, Caramel, and Cherry, but custom colors can be had at an additional cost.

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