Volvo on its way to reduce CO2 emissions per car

Volvo announced one of the most ambitious programmes in the automotive industry by aiming to reduce CO2 emissions per car by 75 per cent by 2030, compared to a 2018 baseline.

23 Volvo CO1

This is in addition to the ambition to become climate neutral by 2040 and to reduce CO2 emissions per car by 40 per cent between 2018 and 2025. During the first nine months of 2023, overall CO2 emissions per car were 19 per cent lower compared to the 2018 benchmark, the manufacturer says.

Achieving such an ambitious 75 per cent reduction target for 2030 demands working unwaveringly towards the company’s existing ambition to only sell fully electric cars by 2030, thereby eliminating tailpipe emissions from our model line-up.

To assist in achieving these ambitions, Volvo, now a member of the World Economic Forum’s First Movers Coalition (FMC), is putting the company’s purchasing power behind emerging clean technologies that will support the shift to near-zero emission aluminium.

“We are also active in the steel industry through our collaboration with Swedish steel producer SSAB. We were the first carmaker to team up with SSAB to explore near-zero emission, high-quality steel for the automotive industry. Now, Volvo Cars has secured access to near-zero emission primary and recycled sheet steel from SSAB that we plan to use in one of our car programmes by 2026,” says Javier Varela, Chief Operating Officer and deputy CEO at Volvo Cars.

“COP28 is a historic accountability moment for climate action,” says Varela. “The world urgently needs to come together and act to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We’re committed to doing our part, and we call on corporate and political leaders around the globe to also do theirs.

Earlier this year, Volvo Cars revealed the fully electric EX30 small SUV, designed to have the lowest carbon footprint of any Volvo car to date. The EX30 is one of several new, fully electric Volvo models that we have launched or will launch in coming years, on our way towards becoming a fully electric carmaker by 2030. And we’re making good progress – during the first nine months of 2023, fully electric cars made up 16 per cent of our overall sales.

“We are also rapidly moving away from the internal combustion engine. We will produce our last diesel-powered car in early 2024, and we have stopped R&D investments in new internal combustion engines. Instead of focusing on the technologies of the past, we have our eyes on the future,” he says.

“We have previously used the COP summits to push collective climate action and COP28 will be no different,” says Jonas Otterheim, Head of Climate Action, Volvo Cars. “What we and other like-minded companies are trying to do is develop and scale up transformational technologies to decarbonise sometimes ancient industrial processes. By joining the FMC and showing tangible progress in our partnership with SSAB, we hope to demonstrate that this vital shift is not just possible but is already underway.”

  • COP28 takes place against the backdrop of the United Nations’ Global Climate Stocktake Report, which was released in September. The sobering conclusion of the report is that despite some areas of progress, the world is still far off track to keep global warming limited to 1.5 degrees against pre-industrial levels. The report also includes recommendations for specific sectors, including the transport sector. It states that for the automotive industry, “phasing out internal combustion engines and using electric vehicles offer the greatest mitigation potential in the sector”.

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