SSAB has announced that Volvo Cars have joined forces with the Swedish steelmaker to explore the development of fossil-free, high-quality steel for use in the automotive industry.

According to SSAB, the collaboration makes Volvo Cars the first carmaker to work with Scandinavian steelmaker and its HYBRIT initiative, an advanced project in fossil-free steel development.

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.

“Our breakthrough 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.”

Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO, SSAB.

Lindqvist said that SSAB was building an entirely fossil-free value chain all the way to the end customer.

“The collaboration with SSAB on fossil-free steel development could give significant emission reductions in our supply chain.”

Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive, Volvo Cars

Samuelsson said that steel is a major area for further progress in Volvo's quest to reduce its carbon footprint.

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.