The partnership with SSAB is the most recent step in Volvo's broader climate action plan. Its final goal is to be an electric car brand by 2030, with only EVs in its lineup.
The carmaker will also join forces with SSAB in the steel maker's HYBRIT initiative, which seeks to replace coking coal that is generally used in iron ore-based steelmaking with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The end result should be the world's first fossil-free steelmaking technology with a minimal carbon footprint.
As part of the agreement, Volvo would be the first vehicle manufacturer to get steel produced from hydrogen-reduced iron from SSAB HYBRIT's pilot plant in Sweden. This steel will be utilized for testing and possibly in a concept car.
The Swedish automaker's goal includes not just reducing emissions via electrification but also minimizing carbon emissions across the company's operations, supply chain, and through material recycling and reuse.
"The collaboration with SSAB on fossil-free steel development could give significant emission reductions in our supply chain.", says Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars.
Volvo hopes that by using fossil-free steel and implementing other measures, it will limit the life cycle carbon footprint per vehicle to 40 percent between 2018 and 2025. By 2040, the company aims to become a 100 percent carbon-free brand.