A long tradition of sustainability

Sustainability is fundamental to how we do business at Volvo Cars and our ambition has always been to lead by example. Our commitment to the environment dates back to the 1940s and today it is stronger than ever.

Volvo PV 51 with the hood open and a man standing next to it.

1945 – Remanufactured exchange parts

As early as 1945 we decided to start renovating gearboxes in the small Swedish town of Köping. Today the Volvo Cars Exchange System offers one of the most extensive ranges of remanufactured exchange parts in the automotive industry.

Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, CEO of Volvo Cars between 1971 and 1983.

1972 – Our first environmental declaration

We articulated our first environmental declaration at the UN’s first Environment Conference in Stockholm. Our CEO at the time, Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, acknowledged that our products had a negative environmental impact and stated that we were determined to do something about it.

The man behind Volvo's Lambda sensor system shows his invention.

1976 – Introduction of the Lambda sensor®

The introduction of our three-way catalytic converter with the Lambda sensor was an environmental breakthrough and reduced harmful emissions by up to 90 per cent. It was one of the most important inventions for controlling tailpipe emissions and to this day it remains an integral part of all modern petrol-powered cars.

Planet earth seen from space.

1991 – The world’s first car free of CFCs

Back in the day, ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) were often used in car air-conditioning systems. In response to this environmental issue, we launched the world’s first car free of CFCs and two years later we eliminated these harmful molecules from our entire product line.

Yellow forklift is moving pallets with car parts.

1996 – Environmental requirements for suppliers

Our suppliers have always played an integral part in our sustainability journey. In 1996 we therefore started setting environmental requirements for our suppliers and voluntarily restricted certain chemicals in all our products.

Volvo SUV drives on a bridge that crosses a water reservoir.

2008 – European manufacturing powered by renewable electricity

To reduce the impact our production has on the environment, we chose to rely solely on hydropower at our manufacturing plants in Europe.

Volvo V60 diesel plug-in hybrid with the charging cable connected.

2012 – The world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid

The Volvo V60 was the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid that could be driven on diesel power alone, as a diesel-electric hybrid, or as an electric car. This was something that no other manufacturer could offer at the time, making this model an attractive alternative with low fuel consumption and long range.

The engine production line of Volvo cars in Skövde, Sweden.

2018 – Climate-neutral engine plant in Sweden

The first plant in our global manufacturing network to become climate-neutral was located in the Swedish town of Skövde. This marked a significant step towards our company vision of having climate-neutral manufacturing operations by 2025. At the same time, Skövde became one of only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe.

Volvo XC40 Recharge pure electric SUV plugged in to a charging box installed on a light post.

2019 – Global debut of our first fully electric SUV

With the introduction of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, we not only debuted our first fully electric SUV, we also introduced one of the safest cars on the road. It was capable of travelling more than 400km* on a single charge and could be charged to 80 per cent of its battery capacity in as little as 40 minutes**.

A large number of solar cells in front of a factory building.

2019 – Climate neutrality by 2040

We announced our ambition to be climate neutral across our value chain by 2040, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. In the interim, we aim to reduce our carbon emissions per vehicle by 40 per cent between 2018 and 2025, addressing emissions within our operations and supply chain, as well as tailpipe emissions.

Volvo Cars entire model range with the XC90, XC60, XC40, V90, S90, V60, V90 and XC40.

2019 – All new models available as hybrids

This year, Volvo Cars globally took the next step towards electrifying our entire model range. We promised that every new car launched from 2019 onwards would be partially or completely battery powered. Accordingly, we are the first major premium car brand to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain on all our models.

* Range is according to WLTP and EPA driving cycles and real-world range may vary. Figures are based on preliminary target. Final vehicle certification pending.

** Fast charging DC up to 150 kW under optimal charging conditions. Charging times are dependent on factors such as outdoor temperature, current battery temperature, charging equipment, battery condition and car condition.

Decades of safety innovations

Ever since our founding in 1927, we’ve been designing cars that put people first. Discover our most important safety innovations over the years.