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Volvo rolls out first vehicle manufactured with fossil-free steel

October 15, 2021

The Driven:

Swedish automaker Volvo Group has unveiled what it says is the world’s first vehicle made from fossil-free steel, a load carrier for use in mining and quarrying that was made using steel produced through a novel process involving green hydrogen.

Volvo’s announcement this week that it has produced the world’s first vehicle made from fossil fuel-free steel is a landmark achievement, and an important step in demonstrating the value of removing fossil fuels from the production equation.

The Volvo load carrier was unveiled at a green steel event on Wednesday at its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. The steel was provided by Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB, one of the largest in the world, which will also provide more fossil fuel-free steel for a series of concept vehicles and components Volvo will launch through 2022.

SSAB announced two months [ago] that it had manufactured the first fossil fuel-free steel via the Hybrit partnership with LKAB and Vattenfall. It was made at the world-first fossil-free steel pilot plant located in Luleå, Sweden, in late-August 2020.

Hybrit steel production replaces the traditional blast furnace process – which relies on carbon and coke to remove the oxygen from iron ore – with a direct reduction process involving green hydrogen produced from water using electricity generated by renewable energy sources. As a result, instead of carbon dioxide, water vapour is formed.

SSAB is aiming to supply the market with fossil fuel-free steel at a commercial scale by 2026 after a conversion of its Oxelösund blast furnaces into an electric arc furnace and by using Hybrit technology.

[Joshua S Hill]

More: Volvo says this is the world’s first vehicle made from fossil-free steel

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