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Volvo takes sustainable steel turn in its trucks

The truck company is introducing new technology to reduce its vehicle emissions

Volvo Trucks has announced it will become the world’s first truck manufacturer to employ a new steel strategy on its trucks to make its vehicles more environmentally friendly.

Volvo says it will now introduce fossil-free steel in its trucks as it turns to Swedish steel company SSAB to produce new hydrogen-based technology.

The new line of Volvo’s heavy-duty electric trucks will be the first to include this new technology that results in a much lower climate impact than conventionally produced steel.

Customers can expect the small-scale introduction of the sustainable steel in Volvo’s electric heavy vehicle fleet to 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,” Volvo senior vice-president of product management Jessica Sandstrom says.

The first steel produced with hydrogen will be used in the truck’s frame rails that act as a backbone for trucks upon which all other main components are mounted.

When the availability of fossil-free steel increases, it will continue being introduced in other parts of the truck.

RELATED ARTICLE: Volvo continues electric battery expansion

Volvo says currently around 30 per cent of materials in a new Volvo truck come from recycled materials, with up to 90 per cent of the truck able to be recycled at the end of its life. 

“We are continuously striving to further minimise our climate footprint,” Sandstrom says.

“We are also moving towards greater circularity in both our operations and our trucks.”

Volvo has been collaborating with SSAB on fossil-free steel since 2021, with the first machine carrying this steel being showcased in October 2021.

Volvo says as it commits to the Paris agreement regarding no emissions by 2040 at the latest, fossil-free steel will become an important part of its truck manufacturing.

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