Volvo Cars is significantly cutting CO2 emissions in its logistics operations by switching transports between its manufacturing plants and new car depots from trucks to trains.
Especially in Europe, where trucks are still ubiquitous in transporting new cars to distribution depots and retailers in individual markets, the company is in the process of reducing emissions by replacing more and more transports by trucks with rail transport.
For example, by implementing rail transport, Volvo Cars reduced CO2 emissions by almost 75% on the route between its Ghent, Belgium-based manufacturing plant and a purpose-built depot in northern Italy. On another route, from Ghent to a second depot in Austria, emissions were cut by almost half since switching to rail transports.
Both initiatives form part of the climate action plan that Volvo Cars revealed this year. Under the plan, the company aims to reduce its lifecycle carbon footprint per car by 40 per cent between 2018 and 2025, which will require a 25% reduction in operational emissions, including logistics. The 2025 plan is one tangible step towards Volvo Cars’ ambition of becoming a climate-neutral company by 2040.
“When we said we planned to significantly reduce emissions across all our operations, we meant it,” said Javier Varela, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars. “Our logistics network is just one piece of that puzzle, but an important one nevertheless. This is one example of our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment through meaningful, concrete steps.”
Volvo Cars is also looking to use rail transport at a wider scale in China and the United States. Already now, cars are transported from its China-based manufacturing plants to the Ghent port in Belgium by train two times a week. Other train connections deliver new Volvo cars to regional depots within China and in Russia.
In the US, the company’s Charleston, South Carolina-based manufacturing plant has tapped into a well-established rail cargo network taking new cars to depots in cities across North America. Already now, these trains replace the equivalent of dozens of trucks per week, a number likely to increase once the next-generation XC90 goes into production.
Volvo Cars’ climate action plan represents one of the most ambitious plans in the automotive industry. It contains concrete actions in line with the global Paris climate agreement of 2015, which seeks to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Volvo Cars’ 2040 ambitions go beyond addressing tailpipe emissions through all-out electrification, as it realises that electrification is not enough to reduce its impact on the environment. Therefore, it also looks at tackling carbon emissions across the board: in its manufacturing network, its wider operations, its supply chain and through recycling and reuse of materials.
The company’s electrification ambitions are reflected in the recently launched, brand-new Recharge car line. Recharge will be the overarching name for all chargeable Volvo cars with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Recharge car line aims to further boost sales of Volvo Cars’ electrified cars and encourage plug-in hybrid drivers via incentives to use Pure mode as much as possible.
The team at Ocean Automotive (Poole Audi and Poole Accident Repair, Yeovil Audi and Yeovil Accident Repair and Volvo Cars Poole) is always up for a challenge and couple that with the support that the company has for its nominated charity, Julia’s House, and the net result will really put the fundraisers through their paces – literally!
In June, 30 adventurous staff members will swap their showroom suits for walking kit to take on the Jurassic Coast Trek. The team members will cover either 13 or 26 miles along the tough, yet picturesque Dorset coastline due west from either Lulworth Cove or Worth Matravers.
The driving force behind the fundraiser is Ocean Automotive’s Marketing Coordinator, Lou Gale. As the main contact for the charity, when Lou saw this challenge cross her desk she knew that 2020 could be the year to make a difference.
She said: “When I started to approach our five businesses I was so surprised by the enthusiasm! The response has been overwhelming – and I was shocked that there were so many others that wanted to go through the pain of a 26 mile, off road and sometimes steep route renowned for its testing terrain! There are 30 of us that are keen and nearly all of those have committed to the sponsorship packages so I know they mean business!”
Caroline Attreed, Corporate Fundraiser for Julia’s House added “We are thrilled colleagues from Ocean Automotive have signed up to take part in our Julia’s House Jurassic Coast Trek. By taking it on, the team will be making a life changing difference to a local family caring for a child with a life-shortening condition. Julia’s House is 95% community funded and with the help of companies like Ocean Automotive we can give families the lifeline they desperately need. As supporters of Julia’s House for over 10 years, we cannot thank Ocean Automotive enough for their continued support and we wish them all the best with their fundraising and the trek. They are all life changers”.
Julia’s House is a children’s hospice providing practical and emotional support for families caring for a child with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, providing frequent and regular support in their own homes, in the community or at their hospices.
To pledge your support to the Ocean Automotive team please visit:
British buyers of any new Volvo plug-in hybrid model to benefit from a year’s free electricity to charge their car
Volvo is offering British car buyers one year’s free electricity to charge their new plug-in hybrid car**, with the launch of its innovative Take Charge campaign. The offer is available across Volvo’s market-leading range of plug-in hybrid models.
Free power to the people
Volvo’s aim is to maximise the fuel- and emissions-saving potential of its hybrid technology by encouraging people to plug in their car and keep the hybrid system’s high-voltage battery charged. This will ensure their car can make full use of electric power, reducing tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption on any journey.
The offer is automatically available to any customer purchasing a new Volvo plug-in hybrid from now until 30 June 2020. The electricity costs for charging their car will be calculated from May 2020 and repaid to them at the end of the 12-month period, based on a third-party-provided average cost of electricity in the UK.
Just how much energy each customer uses will be monitored via the Volvo On Call app. This logs how much power the car consumes, and also allows the owner to monitor the charge status of their car’s battery via their mobile device.
The offer is open to both private and business customers. Because Volvo’s intention is to encourage drivers to get into the habit of keeping their car’s hybrid battery charged, it’s the company car driver who will receive the refund at the end of the year rather than their employer.
Market-leading plug-in hybrid range
Volvo leads the UK market in offering a plug-in hybrid version of every model in its range, so whether buyers are seeking a saloon, estate car or SUV, the stylish Swedish brand has every base covered. The new offer applies to the entire line-up, including the recently launched XC40 T5 plug-in hybrid premium compact SUV. With a 180hp petrol engine and an 82hp electric motor, it is the most efficient version of the multi-award-winning XC40, offering official fuel economy of up to 141.1mpg (WLTP Combined cycle) and CO2 emissions from just 38g/km.
Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK Managing Director, said: “At Volvo, in keeping with our Swedish roots, we’ve always taken a keen interest in looking after the environment. Our recently stated ambition to become a carbon-neutral company by 2040 shows we are serious about addressing climate change.
“It’s crucial that we help our plug-in hybrid customers understand how they can make the most of their car’s electric potential. So, by meeting their electricity charging costs for a year, we can encourage them to develop the good habit of regularly recharging their car’s battery, as well as saving them money at the same time.”
Volvo’s carbon-neutral ambition
The free electricity initiative is just one element in Volvo’s far-reaching plans to achieve a substantial reduction in the lifecycle carbon footprint of all its new cars. The company recently announced its intention to achieve a cut of 40% between 2018 and 2025, a key step towards its goal of becoming a climate-neutral business by 2040. By adopting cleaner, electrified powertrains, it will bring down overall tailpipe emissions by 50% by 2025, while also working to significantly reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing, supply chain, logistics and other operations, targeting a 25% reduction by 2025.
From next year, the first question asked of visitors to Volvo’s customer website will be whether they want their car with a plug, or not. At the same time, a new Recharge branding will be introduced for the company’s growing range of plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars.
For full terms and conditions of the free electricity offer, please visit www.volvocars.co.uk/takecharge
*To be calculated from a third-party-provided average cost of electricity in the UK
**Refers to the ability to be reimbursed for the cost of electricity used to charge your car during the 12-month period