fossil-free steel vehicle

Volvo reveals first vehicle made from fossil-free steel

Image credit: Volvo

Sweden’s Volvo Group has unveiled what it says is the world’s first vehicle made of fossil-free steel, which was also produced in Sweden.

The machine, a load carrier for use in mining and quarrying, was put on show at a green steel collaboration event in Gothenburg. Volvo said that more vehicles will follow in 2022 in what will be a series of concept vehicles and components using fossil-free steel from SSAB.

In 2026, SSAB plans to supply the market with fossil-free steel at a commercial scale after a conversion of its Oxelösund blast furnaces into an electric arc furnace and by using HYBRIT technology, which replaces coking coal traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. This process is a deciding move toward virtually eliminating carbon dioxide emissions in steel production.

In August 2021, SSAB was able to show the world's first fossil-free steel plate made from hydrogen-reduced iron produced at HYBRIT's pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden. The HYBRIT initiative is a collaboration between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, and an essential step toward a completely fossil-free value chain for steelmaking.

“Having the world's first actual vehicle made using SSAB's fossil-free steel is a true milestone,” said Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO at SSAB. “We look forward to continuing to work with Volvo Group in research and development to produce more fossil-free steel products.”

A move toward green steel is an important step for Volvo Group, as well as for the transport and infrastructure industries as a whole. Around 70 per cent of a truck’s weight comes from steel and cast iron, with the figure for Volvo machines even higher. This first concept machine is just the start, with smaller-scale series production planned by 2022, and mass production set to follow.

Volvo has pledged to be climate-neutral and achieve net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Along with the electrification of its vehicles and machines, the group is working to reduce the carbon footprint of its entire supply chain.

“This initiative with SSAB sets the benchmark for a fossil-free future,” said Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group president and CEO, adding that the group is "committed to pioneering partnerships such as this with SSAB to develop attractive, safe and efficient new vehicles and machines that pave the way for a more sustainable transport and infrastructure system”.

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