5:00 PM | January 17 2017

Lifecycle of a Volvo

We understand the impact cars have on the planet. That’s why we constantly strive to have a better understanding of the environment and develop and build cleaner cars that last longer. 

Because now, we believe it’s not enough to simply build cars that protect you and your passengers. We have to build cars capable of protecting the world around us.

By the time we unveiled the Light Component Project concept car in 1983 (read our separate story in this issue of I Roll), Volvo Cars was already known as a car manufacturer interested in innovative, environmentally friendly solutions. 

This was mainly due to the invention of the Lambda Sond catalytic convertor seven years earlier. The Lambda Sond was an environmental breakthrough. By converting hot, harmful exhaust gases into harmless substances already found in the air, it reduced the emission of harmful pollutants by a staggering 90% compared with standard engines. 

But our efforts to build environmentally friendly cars in a more sustainable way had begun decades earlier. 

In 1945, we established an exchange system for remanufactured spare parts. 

Today, this exchange system is bigger than ever and now includes everything from gearboxes to injectors to electronic components – all carefully restored to our original specifications. 

But why spend time and effort remanufacturing used parts when modern production methods mean we could make a brand new part in no time at all? Well, a remanufactured part requires up to 85% less raw material and 80% less energy compared with a newly made part. It can save about 300 tonnes of aluminium and 800 tonnes of steel per year, which is equivalent to reducing approximately 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Well worth the effort, we think.

Today, metals, oils, fluids, rubber and certain plastics corresponding to at least 95% of the weight of a Volvo car can be recovered, while 85% can be recycled. 

Volvo Cars’ Environmental Strategy now encompasses the car’s environmental impact throughout its entire lifecycle – from development, use and service to recycling when the car is scrapped and the cycle begins again.

See our encounter with Volvo enthusiast Peter Broback as we take his Volvo 142 '73 for a ride.


View the rest of our our January I Roll Stories.

I Roll

Volvo is Latin for 'I roll' and was originally trademarked in 1915 with ball bearing production in mind. But 18 million cars later, Volvo has come to mean much more. 

Volvo started making cars in 1927 because we believed nobody else was making them strong enough or safe enough for Swedish roads. Along the way we’ve come up with dozens of innovations, some of which have changed the world. And it’s this proud history that continues our drive forward to the next great Volvo Cars idea.