Volvo cars are collaborating with the Swedish steelmaker SSAB to develop fossil-free steel to use in the automotive industry. The HYBRIT initiative with Volvo cars is the first of its kind. The HYBRIT project was started by SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall, and it aimed to replace coking coal, which is traditionally used for steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. This initiative, if successful, will result in a steelmaking technology that leaves no carbon footprint.
Volvo Cars will be the first company to receive the SSAB steel made from hydrogen-reduced iron. The fossil-free steel might be, at first, used in a concept car. “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.” “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 global steel industry accounts for around 7 percent of global direct carbon emissions, and for Volvo Cars the CO2 emission rounds up to around 35 percent in a traditionally powered automobile and up to 20 percent in electric cars.
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Volvo Cars had started a long-term climate action plan which aims to make the company a fully electric car brand by 2030, and the SSAB initiative is a step towards that direction. Volvo’s plan for reducing its carbon footprint also involves tackling carbon emissions in the company’s supply chain. This step along with the other measures taken by the company can reduce the carbon footprint per car by 40 percent between 2018 and 2025, and by 2040, Volvo Cars could become a climate-neutral company.