Volvo Group and SSAB have joined forces to create what are believed to be the world’s first vehicles made from fossil-free steel.
A collaboration signed today (8th April) formalises the agreement on research, development, serial production and commercialisation of the vehicles.
The steel will be sourced from SSAB’s steel manufacturing plants that have incorporated the new Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT), which replaces coal with hydrogen.
The fossil-free sponge iron resulting from the process is then used as a raw material in the manufacture of fossil-free steel.
Volvo will begin manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with steel from SSAB using hydrogen in 2021. Plans are for smaller-scale serial production to start during 2022 with a gradual escalation towards mass production to follow.
Volvo and SSAB will also work together in research and development to optimise the use of steel in Volvo’s products with regard to weight and quality. Together, the two companies will develop a number of products of fossil-free steel with the goal of reaching serial production within a few years.
Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO at SSAB, said, “We are now taking a giant leap towards an entirely fossil-free value chain all the way to the end customer. Together with Volvo Group, we will start work on the development and serial production of fossil-free steel products.”
“We will work together with our customers to reduce their climate impact while strengthening their competitiveness.”
The collaboration framework also includes a review of common logistics solutions that can contribute to reducing SSAB’s environmental impact from internal and external transports. The ambition is to use Volvo vehicles that are powered by batteries or fuel cells.
Newly made fossil-free steel from SSAB will be an important complement to the traditional and recycled steel used in Volvo’s trucks, construction equipment and other products.