×

Green steel collaboration – Volvo Group, SSAB and Ovako

In a constant search for new ways to reduce climate impact, Volvo Group finds new solutions and think beyond the traditional, to identify new collaborative partnerships. Vehicle production is one such route being explored, and it is leading to exciting new partnerships with the steel industry – Ovako and SSAB.

In 2020, 1.87 million tones of crude steel were produced worldwide, 16% of which was destined for the transport sector. With around 70% of a truck’s weight coming from steel and cast iron and the figure for Volvo construction machines even higher, the production will be another step in our journey to net zero.

The Green steel collaboration is about creating the world’s-first, fossil-free vehicles, together with SSAB, and, as the first OEM, to make use of surplus fossil-free hydrogen from Ovako to power fuel-cell vehicles.

Within the partnership with SSAB, Volvo Group will pave the way for a more sustainable transport and infrastructure system adopted for the future by collaboration with SSAB on development, serial production and commercialization of the world’s first vehicles made of fossil-free steel. For companies committed to limiting their footprint and decarbonizing, it is imperative to look beyond one’s own operations to identify opportunities for improvement both up and down the supply chain. By demanding better, more sustainable products, we can be the impetus for change.

Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO SSAB, Thierry Breton, EU Internal Market Commissioner, Marcus Hedblom, President and CEO Ovako Group and Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO Volvo Group, during the Green steel collaboration event, October 13.
Marcus Hedblom, President and CEO Ovako Group and Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer Volvo Group.

Together with steel manufacturer Ovako, in another world first collaboration, Volvo Group will use the surplus green hydrogen produced as part of Ovako’s manufacturing operations to power the Group’s fuel cell vehicles. Not only will this ensure no surplus hydrogen goes to waste, but the cost efficiency of recycling this by-product and converting it to energy will be passed on to customers. As part of this collaboration a hydrogen filling station will be built alongside Ovako’s plant in Hofors Sweden, with the surplus hydrogen used to power Volvo’s next generation trucks. At Volvo Group, we see hydrogen playing an important role in our shift to electrification, with fuel cell power for long haul and heavy duty application. Green hydrogen can also play a role as a fossil free fuel for combustion engines.

New collaborative partnerships to address climate change

Green steel collaboration is one step in Volvo Group’s ambition to cut carbon emissions across all areas of the business. Change makers have the power to lead by example, through innovative, well-orchestrated collaborations that deliver much-needed change. They also set a benchmark that can be replicated by other organizations across the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

This collaboration agreement with SSAB enables us to start replacing parts of the steel currently used in our products with fossil-free steel, as the first commercial vehicle manufacturer in the industry. October 13 we showcased the world’s first vehicle (or product) made of fossil-free steel. Volvo Group is committed to the Paris climate agreement and to decarbonize transport. Part of that transformation is to start replacing the materials in our vehicles with fossil-free alternatives.

It will be across our product ranges, with a step-by-step approach. The first product we have produced and showed is a dumper/hauler made in fossil-free steel. During 2022 we will show more vehicles that are produced using fossil-free steel.

We aim to start producing vehicles with fossil-free steel later this year. The first vehicles will be test vehicles. We plan to deliver the first vehicles with fossil-free steel to customers early 2022.

Fossil-free steel is produced using a different process, the technology, where fossil-free electricity and hydrogen is used instead of coking coal. Thereby fossil Co2 emissions are eliminated. However, there will still be carbon as an alloying element in the steel, but this will not cause any fossil CO2 emissions.

The collaboration with Ovako is an opportunity for the Volvo Group to get access to fossil-free hydrogen, and also to learn more about hydrogen and the possibilities of this technology. The technology solution enables large-scale and cost-effective production of hydrogen, which the transport industry can benefit from. We will have a filling station in place in Hofors, Sweden, that makes it possible to start driving our test fleet with hydrogen-powered electric fuel cell trucks in a couple of years from now.

The technology solution provides high-temperature processes in steel production with fossil-free hydrogen and oxygen and thus replaces fossil fuels. With a greater need for oxygen than hydrogen in the steel industry, there are good opportunities for cost-effective and large-scale use of hydrogen in other areas, such as fossil-free transport with fuel cell trucks.

Both battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles will be needed to decarbonize transport. Fuel cell electric vehicles will be needed for the extreme long-haul transportation. A fuel-cell electric vehicle can offer a longer range and short refueling times.

Read more about the Green steel collaboration