17.06.2021. SSAB is teaming up with Volvo Cars to jointly explore the development of fossil-free, high-quality steel for use in the automotive industry. The collaboration makes Volvo Cars the first carmaker to work with SSAB and its HYBRIT initiative, the steel industry’s most ambitious and advanced project in fossil-free steel development.
Steel made from hydrogen-reduced iron used for testing purposes and in a concept car
As part of the collaboration, Volvo Cars will be the first carmaker to secure SSAB steel made from hydrogen-reduced iron from the HYBRIT pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden. This steel will be used for testing purposes and may be used in a concept car.
In 2026, SSAB aims to supply the market with fossil-free steel at a commercial scale. Volvo Cars aims to also be the first carmaker to use fossil-free steel for its own actual car production.
HYBRIT was started by SSAB, iron ore producer LKAB and energy firm Vattenfall. The initiative aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is expected to be the world’s first fossil-free steelmaking technology, with virtually no carbon footprint.
Aim to develop fossil-free steel products for cars of the future
“We are building an entirely fossil-free value chain all the way to the end customer,” said Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO at SSAB. “Our technology has virtually no carbon footprint and will help strengthen our customer´s competitiveness. Together with Volvo Cars, we aim to develop fossil-free steel products for cars of the future.”
“As we continuously reduce our total carbon footprint, we know that steel is a major area for further progress,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars. “The collaboration with SSAB on fossil-free steel development could give significant emission reductions in our supply chain.”
The global steel industry accounts for around 7 % of global direct carbon emissions because it is currently dominated by an iron ore-based steel making technology, using blast furnaces which depend on coking coal.
For Volvo Cars, the CO2 emissions related to steel and iron production for its cars amount to around 35 % in a traditionally powered car and 20 % in a fully electric car of the total CO2 emissions from the material and production of the components going into the car.
SSAB aims to reduce Sweden’s CO2 emissions by 10 % and those in Finland by 7 %, through HYBRIT technology, using hydrogen produced from water and fossil-free electricity instead of coking coal.