May 16, 2020

Volvo: Trucks-to-trains swap slashes emissions in logistics 

Volvo Cars
Amber Donovan-Stevens
3 min
Volvo Car's trucks-to-trains swap will significantly cut its CO2 emissions in its logistic operations

Trucks still rule transport in Europe's logistic...

Volvo Car's trucks-to-trains swap will significantly cut its CO2 emissions in its logistic operations

Trucks still rule transport in Europe's logistic industry, but this is soon to change. Though cars are predominantly transported via trucks across the continent, Volvo Cars is currently challenging this process by swapping transport between its manufacturing plants and new car depots from trucks to trains. This is going to significantly slash CO2 emissions across the continent. 

The implementation has already been met with success: swapping to rail transport has reduced CO2 emissions by as much as 75% on the route between its Ghent, Belgium-based manufacturing plant and a purpose-built depot in northern Italy. Another route that has been successful is from Ghent to Volvo Car's second depot in Austria, which cut emissions by 50%.

This initiative is borne out of Volvo Car's climate action plan that was revealed at the start of 2020. The action plan seeks to ensure that the manufacturer reduces its carbon footprint lifecycle per car by 40% between 2018 and 2025. This will require a 25% reduction across both its operation emissions as well as its logistics. This seven-year plan is a part of the company's greater goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. This is one of the most ambitious plans in the automotive industry, as it aligns itself closely with the Paris climate agreement of 2015, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Javier Varela, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics at Volvo Cars, said: “When we said we planned to significantly reduce emissions across all our operations, we meant it. 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.”

These operations are focused in Europe, but Volvo Cars has expressed its desire to expand this swap to its China and US operations. Its cars are already transported from its China-based manufacturing plants to the Ghent port in Belgium by train two times a week, and other train connections deliver cars to regional depots in China and Russia.


Foundations have been laid in Volvo Cars' US operations as its Charleston, South Carolina-based manufacturing plant uses the region's well-established rail cargo network to transport new cars across North America. This replaces dozens of trucks each week, which will likely increase as the company begins the production of the next generation of its XC90.

Volvo Cars' ambitions are continuing to grow as it implements these initiatives. This swap comes shortly after the company recently launched its Recharge car line, which is the new brand name for all of Volvo's chargable cars. These cars will feature a fully electric and plug-in powertrain, encouraging plug-in hybrid drivers as it moves to boost the sales of its hybrid vehicles.

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Jun 17, 2021

Canoo Awards Manufacturing Contract to VDL Nedcar

2 min
Canoo, a trailblazing company in the electric vehicle (EVs) manufacturing industry, has officially announced owned and contract manufacturing plans

Canoo, a trailblazing company in the electric vehicle (EVs) manufacturing industry, has officially announced owned and contract manufacturing plans that will ensure the company manages to deliver on its promise to consumers of production and delivery of vehicles in Q4, 2022. 


During the company’s first Investor Relations Day, Chairman & CEO of Canoo, Tony Aquila, named VDL Nedcar as its contract manufacturing partner. VDL Nedcar, which I’m sure many of you will already have heard of, is the only independent Vehicle Contract Manufacturer in the Netherlands and has enjoyed fifty years of growth under owners, including Mitsubishi Motors and Volvo cars. According to the report, Nedcar will manufacture the Lifestyle Vehicle for the United States and European Union markets, while Canoo builds a US-based mega micro-factory. 



"We conducted an exhaustive search, invested significant amounts of time and resources that span the globe, in our search for our Phase 1 contract manufacturer. VDL Nedcar is the right partner," said Tony Aquila, Investor, Chairman and CEO of Canoo, Inc. "They are the top trusted European manufacturer building high-quality products for leading OEMs, and they significantly outcompeted the other contenders. VDL is also independently owned by the van der Leegte family of entrepreneurs - which aligns with our commitment to support businesses that form the backbone of communities. This strategic partnership will enable us to deliver vehicles to market while we build our Phase 2 factory in Oklahoma. It also strongly positions us for geographic expansion in Europe and builds a lasting relationship with VDL Groep of companies. Our investment will help us scale quickly and fulfil our mission to bring affordable, purpose-built EVs to Everyone."


Canoo and VDL have already gotten to work on vehicle manufacturability and production planning so that Canoo can successfully lay the groundwork for its upcoming US manufacturing operations expansion, which will be completed in Oklahoma in 2022. The Nedcar facility currently expected to produce around 1000 units for both the US and European markets in 2022, with an additional 15000 targeted for the following year. 


"Canoo's bold approach to designing and building electric vehicles makes them an ideal partner as we work together to shape the future of mobility," said John van Soerland, CEO of VDL Nedcar. "This partnership advances our strategic vision to provide a contract manufacturing solution and expand our expertise in the EV arena."

Currently, Canoo is entering its GAMMA phase of development and is on track to start production soon. The company intends and expects to launch its Lifestyle Vehicle in Q4 2022, closely followed by the Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle and Pickup Truck.

Watch this space.

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