Lingrove plant-based ekoa composite featured in Hyundai Palisade concept vehicle

Carbon-neutral biocomposite enables interactive doorspear with look and feel of wood while protecting trees, enabling transparency and capacitive touch for futuretech.


Lingrove ekoa composite in color-changing, interactive doorspear for Hyundai Palisade concept vehicle. Photo Credit: Lingrove

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG, Seoul, South Korea) and Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. (HATCI, Ypsilanti, Mich., U.S.) showcase their environmental commitment by featuring Lingrove’s (San Francisco, Calif., U.S.) innovative, high-performance, plant-based ekoa composite material in the Palisade concept vehicle as a luxury and interactive finish. The ekoa-enabled color-changing, backlit door spear was showcased at the 2022 Hyundai Open Innovation Lounge (Seoul, Korea), an exhibition of the most innovative startups to improve existing and future consumer and commercial vehicles

Delivering a higher strength-to-weight ratio than steel, ekoa is developed from renewable flax fibers and bio-based thermoplastic to replace wood and plastic laminates with a carbon-neutral, ultra-sustainable material. Ekoa is already being used to replace rainforest trees and carbon fiber composites in musical instruments and wood paneling in homes and offices. Now in advanced automotive testing, ekoa’s carbon-neutral impact extends into car interiors, offering the look and feel of natural wood but also in a format with hidden transparency enabling backlighting effects and/or options for capacitive touch.

“The demand for reinventing mobility with sustainable ekoa interiors is incredibly strong,” Joe Luttwak, CEO of Lingrove, says. “After years of R&D and investment, our high-performance, beautiful, ekoa is ready to meet our customers’ commitments to decarbonizing their vehicles — while transitioning their interiors to feel like living room spaces.”

Lingrove notes that customers are demanding healthy and sustainable interiors, without sacrificing luxury and beauty, at all price points. Automobile OEMs look to innovators like Lingrove, it says, to deliver the right products to their design and CMF teams. Hyundai Motor Group and HATCI’s use of ekoa on the Palisade doors reflects a commitment to sustainability and confidence in the market demand for applying naturetech in even the toughest design challenges.