Swedish automotive giant Volvo Group plans to produce the world’s first vehicles to be made from fossil fuel-free steel, with the first vehicles expected later this year.
The race to decarbonise more than just a vehicle’s operating emissions is on, with automakers around the world investigating and investing in fossil fuel-free materials production.
Volvo has signed a collaboration agreement with Nordic steel giant SSAB which will see the two companies work together on research, development, serial production, and commercialisation of the world’s first vehicles to be made from fossil fuel-free steel.
Volvo has promised to begin manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with fossil fuel-free steel from SSAB in 2021, and this will be followed by smaller-scale serial production in 2022, leading into gradual escalation towards mass production.
SSAB joined with two other Swedish giants, power company Vattenfall and government-owned mining company LKAB, to use HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology) to build the world’s first production plant for fossil fuel-free sponge iron – an emissions-free steel production plant, using fossil-free feedstock and fossil-free energy in all parts of the value chain.
Test operations at the pilot HYBRIT plant in Luleå, Sweden, began in late-August 2020, and just last week the three companies announced that they had begun building a rock cavern storage facility for fossil fuel-free hydrogen gas on a pilot scale next to their Luleå pilot facility.
[Joshua S Hill]