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Volvo Trucks produces first electric trucks with fossil-free steel

Nov. 14, 2022
In a new venture, Volvo Trucks will be sending fossil-free electric vehicles to customers in partnership with a Swedish steel company.

Throughout the past year, Volvo Trucks has continued to strengthen their electric fleet offerings while establishing a charging network to serve their sustainability goals. Most recently, Volvo Trucks began production on a series of heavy duty electric, 44-tonne trucks, some of which are built with fossil-free steel.

“Our journey to net zero emissions includes both making our vehicles fossil free in operation and over time fully replacing the material in our trucks with fossil-free and recycled alternatives,” said Jessica Sandström, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Volvo Trucks.

To do so, Volvo Trucks has partnered with the Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB, one of the original companies to develop the production process for the fossil-free material. Along with LKAB and Vattenfall, SSAB uses hydrogen and electricity to convert iron ore into iron, removing oxygen and hydrogen from metal via a Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT), which produces water instead of carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

The remaining steel is then used in the EV frame rails of Volvo Trucks’ vehicles but will eventually be used in other aspects of the company’s vehicles as well. Volvo trucks reported that their fossil-free frame rails are an important complement to the 30% recycled materials used in their trucks, and also said that 90% of their vehicles can be recycled once their usefulness is spent.

Volvo Trucks and SSAB have become longtime partners for the fossil-free steel project. The Volvo Group was the first company to produce a vehicle using the Swedish company’s steel in October 2021, in which the organizations unveiled a load carrier for mining and quarrying. Looking to the future, SSAB’s website states that the company plans to grow their production to further supply the commercial vehicle market with their steel at scale.

In the meantime, the Volvo Group is also continuing to strive for a fossil-free commercial truck lineup by 2040, including the Class 8 Volvo VNR Electric, which were announced in August, 2021.

While fossil-free vehicles are still in production, Volvo Trucks already has several customers awaiting their arrival, including Amazon and DFDS and, via Simon Loos, Unilever.

“DFDS is committed to our green transition and to deliver greener transport and logistics solutions,” said Niklas Andersson, EVP of DFDS Logistics Division. “Any step in the green transition of logistics brings us closer to a carbon free society and we are therefore happy to learn that some of our new electric trucks soon to be delivered are also produced with fossil free steel.”