Volvo Plans to Start Using Fossil-Free Steel in Its Cars

On June 16th, Volvo announced a new partnership with Swedish steelmaker SSAB to jointly test and use fossil-free steel in the automotive industry. This is a big step in the carmaker's plan to reduce the life cycle carbon footprint per vehicle by 40 percent between 2018 and 2025.
Volvo plans to test and use fossil-free steel in its vehicles 9 photos
Photo: Volvo Cars
Car manufacturing at Luqiao facility in ChinaPre-production of the new Volvo S90 in the Daqing manufacturing plantVolvo's new manufacturing plant in South Carolina, U.S.Pre-production of the new Volvo XC40 in the manufacturing plant in GhentVolvo manufacturing plant in Daqing, ChinaVolvo teamed up with SSAB to start using fossil-free steel in its carsVolvo teamed up with SSAB to start using fossil-free steel in its carsVolvo teamed up with SSAB to start using fossil-free steel in its cars
Volvo estimates that CO2 emissions from steel and iron production for its cars account for roughly 35 percent of total CO2 emissions from the material and components that go into a traditionally powered vehicle and 20 percent in an electric one.

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.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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