Volvo Create World First With Greener Steel

Tue 22nd Jun 2021

While most motor companies are motoring towards a day when their vehicles will produce no carbon emissions, Volvo have taken the philosophy one step further with news that their production processes for steel will no longer use fossil fuels such as coal.

The development puts the Swedish company on the map as the first automotive manufacturer in the world to use fossil-free steelmaking, with virtually no carbon footprint.

Volvo were recognised in an environmental report as leading the way in electric vehicle development across Europe, with a promise that their entire range will be electric by the end of the decade. And now thanks to a collaboration with Swedish steel maker SSAB, the company are using electricity and hydrogen as the fuel for their iron-ore based steelmaking.

Currently the steel produced with this method will be used for testing purposes and maybe even a concept car, but SSAB are hoping that their technology can be used across the automotive industry. 

“We are building an entirely fossil-free value chain all the way to the end customer,” Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO at SSAB said. “Our breakthrough technology has virtually no carbon footprint and will help strengthen our customer´s competitiveness. Together with Volvo Cars, we aim to develop fossil-free steel products for the cars of the future.”

The CO2 emissions related to steel and iron production amount to approximately 35 percent of a traditional ICE vehicle for Volvo, with EVs at 20 per cent. The Swedish firm plan to tackle carbon emissions throughout their operation by using recycled materials and aim to reduce the life cycle carbon footprint per by car by 40 per cent by 2025.

“As we continuously reduce our total carbon footprint, we know that steel is a major area for further progress,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars. “The collaboration with SSAB on fossil-free steel development could give significant emission reductions in our supply chain.”