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Volvo Cars Looks to Rail Against Emissions

Volvo Cars has announced it will be using more rail and less road to help reduce CO2 emissions from manufacturing and transportation of its vehicles.

The plan, the company says, is especially important for implementation in Europe, where the company currently uses many trucks for transport, but where rail is generally more prevalent than in North America. Volvo said that using rail links between its plant in Ghent, Belgium and a depot in Italy, cut emissions by almost 75 percent. A similar route from Belgium to Austria cut emissions in half.

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

The company is now using the equivalent of dozens of trucks per week worth of rail transport from its Charleston, SC plant, expected to increase when the next XC90 enters production. Volvo Cars is also transporting vehicles from China to the port of Ghent by train two to three times per week.

It’s all part of Volvo Cars’ plant to reduce its lifecycle carbon footprint by 40 percent between 2018 and 2025, on the way to becoming climate neutral by 2040.

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