Volvo’s Climate Action Plan, announced February 20, is one of the most comprehensive plans for reducing a manufacturer’s carbon footprint. The plan includes electrifying the entire vehicle line-up by 2019, pledging to eliminate fatalities in Volvo vehicles by 2020, and partnering on climate change initiatives with the UN Climate Change Secretariat.

Volvo is the first car maker to set targets for 100 percent climate neutrality, both for its products and its production. By 2025, Volvo aims to reduce the average tailpipe CO2 emissions of new cars to under 50g/km, or about 115mpg. The plan also calls for all new Volvo cars to be electric by 2030.

Volvo’s Climate Action Plan is based on three key pillars:

  • Targets: A commitment to reduce the lifecycle carbon footprint of both new cars and production facilities by 40 percent between 2018 and 2040.
  • New fuels: A focus on renewable electricity as a replacement for fossil fuels in manufacturing facilities.
  • New materials: A commitment to use recycled raw materials in all new Volvo car models launched after 2025.

Volvo’s Climate Action Plan comes after the automaker announced a partnership with Uber earlier this month to develop and launch a fleet of autonomous electric vehicles for use in ride-hailing services by 2021. The two companies will collaborate across safety, autonomy, electrification, and customer experience.

Volvo’s Climate Action Plan will affect their business in a few ways. The first is that they have pledged to eliminate fatalities and severe injuries in their vehicles by 2020.

This commitment is both ambitious and necessary, as the reduction of accidents will not only protect drivers but also reduce emissions from crashes.

In addition to this, they have pledged to electrify their entire vehicle line-up by 2019. This means that all Volvo vehicles will have some sort of electric motor as part of their drivetrain either through plug-in hybrid technology or full battery-electric technology. 

Volvo is also working with the Swedish government in studying how environmental benefits can be presented alongside economic benefits for those who choose to purchase an electric vehicle, such as tax incentives or reduced parking fees.

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