AB Volvo, the development truck arm of Sweden’s Volvo Group, unveiled a brand new automobile Wednesday made with a majority of “fossil-free” metal, plus plans to start smaller-scale sequence manufacturing utilizing the brand new materials as early as 2022.
“Our intention is to begin to construct these automobiles, these comparatively small-load carriers, using this fossil-free metal,” Lars Stenqvist, govt VP of vans expertise at AB Volvo, informed TechCrunch in a latest interview. “It’s necessary to say it’s not a analysis and improvement challenge or some type of demonstration challenge to point out up for politicians. That is serial manufacturing.”
The prototype automobile, a totally electrical and autonomous load service to be used in mining and quarries, consists of over 3,000 kilograms (6,600 kilos) of the brand new metal. Volvo mentioned it focused development vans first as a result of, on common, round 70% of the automobile weight comes from metal and forged iron.
The metal was manufactured by SSAB, a Swedish steelmaker with whom Volvo entered right into a partnership earlier this yr. Standard metal manufacturing makes use of coal to extract oxygen out of the iron ore, however SSAB has developed a course of to make metal utilizing hydrogen. The hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, a course of that makes use of renewable power to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen.
The load service unveiled right this moment is just not composed of 100% fossil-free metal, as a result of SSAB doesn’t have entry to sure geometries but, like these wanted to provide cylindrical shafts, Stenqvist mentioned. He added that almost all of the parts and notably the massive bucket on the again of the automobile are fossil-free.
The metal from SSAB is similar in all methods to standard metal, which implies it may be utilized in all of Volvo’s current manufacturing services. “It is a very, crucial enter to us, as a result of that implies that we’re agnostic from a manufacturing and manufacturing perspective,” Stenqvist mentioned.
Volvo, which has set a goal of zero-emissions throughout its operations by 2040, is aiming to scale its use of the metal all through the remainder of the last decade. Volvo Vehicles, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding, additionally plans to provide an idea automobile utilizing the metal as quickly as 2025.