All of Volvo Cars' production plants in China now run purely on climate-neutral electricity. The addition of more renewable energy at its Daqing facility means that, worldwide, climate-neutral electricity now powers 90% of Volvo's manufacturing network. The company has set a target of 100% carbon-neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.
Volvo announced this week that the Daqing plant is now using energy generated from biomass (83% of its total) and wind power (17%). Volvo said the biomass power plants that provide energy to the Daqing plant use "locally and sustainably-sourced agricultural and forestry residues." By going 100% renewable, Volvo said it would reduce the manufacturing plant's carbon-dioxide emissions by around 34,000 tons a year.
Volvo also said it is also talking with its suppliers to convince them to shift to 100% carbon-neutral power. "We can only achieve our climate action targets by working together with our suppliers," said Javier Varela, senior vice president for industrial operations and quality. "We are encouraged by the support we have received so far in China and aim to be a benchmark of sustainability for its manufacturing industry."
The Daqing plant is one of three where Volvo builds cars in China. The other Volvo-operated plant is in Chengdu, which is larger than the Daqing plant and switched to 100% renewable energy in June 2020, up from the previous level of 70% renewable electricity. The plant uses hydropower, solar, wind, and other renewable sources of energy to build cars. Volvo Cars said last summer that the increase in renewable electricity in Chengdu would reduce the plant's CO2 emissions by over 11,000 tons each year.
Chengdu builds the XC60 SUV and Polestar 1 while Daqing manufactures the S90 sedan. A multi-brand plant in Luqiao produces the Volvo XC40 compact SUV and also makes vehicles for Lynk & Co, Volvo's sibling brand that it co-owns with Geely. Polestar builds the all-electric Polestar 2 in Luqiao.
All of Volvo's European plants have had a climate-neutral electricity supply since 2008. The company's plant in Ghent, Belgium, got Volvo's first large-scale solar energy bank of 15,000 solar panels in 2018.