In preparation for COP28, Volvo Cars announced that it is stepping up efforts in its implementation plan, which is already considered one of the most ambitious in the automotive industry. This aims to reduce CO² emissions per vehicle by 75 percent by 2030, compared to the brand’s record emissions in 2018.
This is in line with the company’s ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2040 and reduce CO² emissions per vehicle by 40 percent between 2018 and 2025. In the first nine months of 2023, total CO² emissions per each car was 19 percent lower compared to its reference in 2018. .
Achieving such a lofty goal of a 75 percent reduction by 2030 requires continued work toward the current goal of selling only electric vehicles by 2030, eliminating emissions from its models.
To help achieve these goals, Volvo Cars shared that it has become a member of the World Economic Forum’s (FMC) Early Actors Alliance, which supports emerging clean technologies. Volvo Cars tries to ensure that the aluminum it uses is manufactured through processes that eliminate or reduce CO² emissions to near zero.
The company is also active in the steel sector, through its partnership with Swedish steelmaker SSAB; Volvo Cars was the first car manufacturer to collaborate with the company to explore this high-quality, near-zero material. Currently, thanks to this alliance with SSAB, it has access to basic steel, recycled and with almost zero CO² emissions, to use in one of its automotive programs by 2026.
“COP28 is a historic moment of accountability for climate action,” said Javier Varela, COO and Deputy CEO of Volvo Cars. “The world needs to come together and take urgent action to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We are committed to doing our part, encouraging corporate and political leaders around the world to do theirs as well,” he concluded.
Earlier this year, Volvo Cars introduced the EX30, an all-electric compact SUV, designed to have the lowest carbon footprint of any Volvo car to date. The EX30 is one of the new, sparkless models on its way to becoming an electric automaker by 2030.
The company is also rapidly moving away from the internal combustion engine, releasing its last diesel car as early as 2024, as well as halting research and development investment in new engines of this type. Instead of focusing on old technologies, Volvo Cars is looking to the future.
At the same time, reaching its latest target will require addressing CO² emissions throughout its supply chain and operations (including facilities), aiming to reduce them by 30 percent by 2030, compared to the 2018 baseline. During 2022 , 69 percent of operations were powered by climate-neutral energy and recently 100 percent climate-neutral electricity has been used in all of its facilities worldwide.
This summer, Volvo Cars also became the first automaker worldwide to announce a switch from fossil fuels to biofuels for 86 percent of its domestic transportation, reducing emissions by 84 percent and supporting support his desire to reduce production.
“In the past we have used COP meetings to drive joint climate action and COP 28 will be no different,” said Jonas Otterheim, head of climate action at Volvo Cars.
“What we and other like-minded companies are trying to do is to develop and leverage transformative technologies to decarbonize industrial processes. By joining FMC and demonstrating tangible progress in our partnership with SSAB, we hope to demonstrate that this important transformation is not only possible, but it’s already going on.”
Long way to go
COP 28 takes place in the context of the United Nations Global Climate Review Report, published in September. The report’s disappointing conclusion is that, despite some areas of progress, the world is still far from limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
The report also includes recommendations for specific sectors, such as transport. Saying that for the automotive industry, “the removal of internal combustion engines and the use of electric vehicles provides a great potential for reduction in the sector.” The conclusion is closely aligned with Volvo Cars’ actions in electrifying its fleet and moving away from fossil fuel vehicles.