Volvo Cars teams with SSAB for using fossil-free steel in auto industry

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 17 Jun 2021

Volvo Cars is teaming up with Swedish steel maker SSAB to jointly explore the development of fossil-free, high-quality steel using Hybrit technology for the automotive industry. As part of the collaboration, Volvo Cars will be the first car maker to secure SSAB steel made from this technology and will be used for testing and for concept car.

The ‘Hybrit’ technology was started by SSAB, iron ore producer LKAB and energy firm Vattenfall. It aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is expected to be the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking technology, with virtually no carbon footprint. SSAB aims to supply this steel commercially from 2026.

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

Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO at SSAB added, “We are building an entirely fossil-free value chain all the way to the end customer. 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 seven per cent of global direct carbon emissions, due to the fact that the industry is currently dominated by an iron ore-based steelmaking technology, using blast furnaces depending on coking coal.

For Volvo Cars, the carbon dioxide emissions related to steel and iron production for its cars amount to around 35 pe cent in a traditionally powered car and 20 percent in a fully electric car.

The collaboration with SSAB is the latest initiative that supports Volvo Cars’ overall climate action

In the short term, these and other steps aim to reduce the lifecycle carbon footprint per car by 40 percent between 2018 and 2025. By 2040, Volvo Cars’ ambition is to be a climate-neutral company.