The focus is rightly on making trucks more efficient in operation and reducing the tailpipe emissions to zero, but Volvo has made further steps in improving the footprint of the manufacture of the truck itself. Volvo claims to be the world’s first truck manufacturer to introduce fossil free steel into its trucks. The steel is produced by the Swedish steel company SSAB and the heavy-duty electric Volvo trucks will be the first to include it. The steel from SSAB is produced using a completely new technology, based on hydrogen. The result is a much lower climate impact than conventionally produced steel. Small scale introduction of the steel in Volvo’s heavy electric trucks will begin in the third quarter of 2022.
“We will increase the use of fossil-free materials in all our trucks to make them net-zero not only in operation – but also when it comes to the materials they are built of,” says Jessica Sandström, Senior Vice President Product Management, Volvo Trucks.
The first steel produced with hydrogen will be used in the truck’s chassis rails, the backbone of the truck upon which all other main components are mounted. As the availability of fossil-free steel increases, it will also be introduced in other parts of the truck.
Today, around 30 per cent of the materials in a new Volvo truck come from recycled materials. And up to 90 per cent of the truck can be recycled at the end of its life.
“We are continuously striving to further minimise our climate footprint. We are also moving towards greater circularity in both our operations and our trucks,” says Sandström.
Volvo Group has been collaborating with SSAB since 2021. The first machine, a load carrier made of fossil-free steel, was showcased in October 2021. Fossil-free steel will be an important complement to the traditional and recycled steel used in Volvo’s trucks.
Volvo Trucks is committed to the Paris agreement and to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the value-chain by 2040, at the latest.