Volvo calls for more investments in clean energy to see full climate potential of EVs

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In a recent press release, Volvo Cars called on world leaders and energy providers to significantly boost clean energy investments to help EVs realize their full potential in climate benefit.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is the Volvo C40 Recharge Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report?

    It's a carbon footprint report of Volvo Cars' newest EV to determine what impact it has on the environment.
  • How does Volvo Cars plan to go full electric?

    The Swedish Company announced it will phase out all internal combustion engine (ICE) models by 2030.
  • Volvo Cars’ recent move to seek support from world and industry leaders coincides with a newly published report surrounding Volvo’s latest EV, the C40 Recharge. The report reveals the overall lifecycle carbon emissions of the EV and shows the huge potential for CO2 reduction if a car is built and charged using clean energy sources.

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    Based on the new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report for the Volvo C40 Recharge, when an owner charges a C40 Recharge using clean energy, such as wind power, its CO2 lifecycle impact is estimated to be less than half of its traditional internal combustion engine counterpart.

    Meanwhile, when the C40 Recharge is charged using electricity generated through fossil fuels, that difference becomes much smaller.

    In addition, the LCA report for the C40 Recharge shows that when it is charged using electricity generated from clean sources, its lifecycle CO2 footprint comes down to approximately 27 tons of CO2, compared with 59 tons for an XC40 compact SUV powered by a combustion engine.

    However, when owners charge their C40 Recharge using an average global energy mix (around 60 percent from fossil fuels), the vehicle’s lifecycle CO2 tonnage can increase to as much as 50 tons.

    Volvo Cars’ views regarding the matter are echoed in the 2021 World Energy Investment report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to the IEA report, global clean energy investments “would need to double in the 2020s to maintain temperatures well below a two-degrees Celsius rise, and more than triple in order to keep the door open for a 1.5-degree Celsius stabilization” of global temperature rises.

    Volvo Cars’ plea for increased clean energy investments also comes ahead of the upcoming UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where revised plans for carbon emissions reduction to fight climate change will be discussed.

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    “We made a conscious strategic decision to become a fully electric car maker and an industry leader, but we can’t make the transition to climate neutrality alone. We need governments and energy firms around the globe to step up their investments in clean energy capacity and related charging infrastructure, so fully electric cars can truly fulfill their promise of cleaner mobility,” said Volvo Cars Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson.

    Volvo Cars aims to become a fully electric car company come 2030 and plans to roll out a whole new family of pure electric cars in the coming years, one of the industry’s most ambitious electrification plans. This is part of the Swedish automotive brand’s ambition to become a climate-neutral company by 2040, as it works to consistently cut carbon emissions across its business.

    The soon-to-be EV-only company is taking active steps to address these emissions including planned collaborations with SSAB to develop fossil-free steel and with its battery suppliers to produce batteries using 100-percent renewable energy.

    In terms of its own operations, Volvo Cars aims for climate-neutral manufacturing by 2025. Its European plants now run on 100-percent clean electricity, while its Torslanda plant in Sweden is fully climate neutral. Its Chengdu and Daqing sites in China are also powered by climate-neutral electricity.

    Photos from Volvo

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