Volvo cars aims for environmental leadership in the premium segment 

Environmental care has top priority
• Volvo aims to be one of the environmental leaders in the premium segment
• Innovative technology makes Volvo cars Clean Inside and Out

     Environmental leadership means setting priorities. Volvo has a tradition of environmental care, of providing environmental alternatives today and of dedication to future commitments. This holistic approach gives Volvo Cars an excellent position in the quest for environmental leadership in the future.

       “Thirty percent of Volvo’s car buyers associate Volvo with the expression “pollution prevention”. It is this foundation on which we will continue to build. Our aim is to be ranked as one of the absolute leaders in the premium segment when it comes to environmentally sound mobility”, says Hans-Olov Olsson, President and CEO of the Volvo Car Corporation. Sustainable mobility has top priority on the Volvo Car Corporation’s agenda for the future. 

      “Our commitment to safe mobility needs to be enlarged from the protection of occupants and other road users in collisions to include personal health for all road users and to offer them sustainable mobility solutions”, says Hans-Olov Olsson.
Volvo Cars’ environmental tradition

     Volvo has long maintained that although the car contributes greatly to the socio-economic development of society, it is not without side-effects. Already in 1972, we stated that “cars produce pollution, noise and waste”. The Volvo Car Corporation also has a long tradition of developing safety and environmental milestones. Volvo introduced the three-way catalytic converter with Lambda sensor in 1976 – an innovation many people consider to be at least as important to the environment as the safety belt has been to safety.

    Since then, Volvo Cars has introduced several important innovations that help alleviate the impact of its products on the environment.

The major environmental challenges

     Today we want to concentrate on three major challenges:

• Global warming, attributed to society’s emissions of greenhouse gases, is becoming one of the biggest environmental concerns of our time. For this reason, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide – a major greenhouse gas – is the biggest environmental challenge now facing the automotive industry.

• Pollution – especially in our towns and cities – is the second challenge to the industry as poor air quality has adverse effects on human health.

• The third issue is to provide better mobility in urban areas, where congestion in some cities has become a day-to-day burden for road users.

The solutions

     Many people think that the solution from car manufacturers should be futuristic in order to make a difference. Volvo Cars is convinced that advanced technology is necessary but creating good solutions today is equally important.

       “In order to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, Volvo Cars believes that in the short term, biogas, a renewable fuel produced from organic material, provides many environmental benefits”, says Anders Kärrberg, Environmental Director at Volvo Car Corporation.

       “Volvo Cars sees a future where several solutions are possible. We are researching bio-fuels and hybrids as alternatives”, Kärrberg continues.

      Volvo Cars has also launched the Volvo 3CC concept car, an attractive and environmentally efficient small car. The Volvo 3CC is a study of possible future sustainable mobility solutions. Developed in California at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center, its unique design provides enough space for three adults or two adults and two children. (The 3CC is described in detail in another part of this press material.)

      “In order to reduce the problem of ground-level ozone, most of Volvo’s models are equipped with PremAir®. Furthermore, Volvo offers PZEV engines, which meet one of the world’s toughest emissions standards – the one applied in several US states”, says Anders Kärrberg.

Methane – a fuel for today and tomorrow

     Volvo Cars has developed methane-driven cars which are highly efficient in environmental terms. Carbon dioxide emissions from a Volvo Bi-Fuel model running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are about 25 percent lower than those from a petrol engine. A car running on the other methane alternative, biogas, contributes virtually nothing to the global warming problem caused by greenhouse gases. Bi-Fuel cars can also be driven on petrol as a back-up.

      These cars have the same characteristics as other Volvo cars – they are equally safe and spacious and deliver the same performance – but with much improved environmental performance in terms of greenhouse gas emissions!


     Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons generated by traffic and other sources are exposed to sunlight. Together with other photochemical oxidants in the air, the ozone forms what is commonly known as smog. The problem is greater in the summertime, particularly in the world’s major cities.

      Volvo Cars was the first car maker in the world to commercialise the technology known as PremAir®*. PremAir® is a special catalytic coating that is applied to the radiator and converts ground-level ozone into pure oxygen as the car is driven. Studies have shown that up to 75 percent of the ozone that passes through the radiator is converted into oxygen in this way.

* PremAir® is a trademark of Engelhard Corporation

PZEV – Partial Zero Emission Vehicles

    PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) – one of the world’s toughest emission control standards – is in force in certain American states. Although running on regular petrol, emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides from cars with PZEV engines are extremely low. The new Volvo S40, VolvoV50, Volvo S60 and Volvo V70 are now available with PZEV engines in these states.

Safe and healthy interior

     The interior of a Volvo is designed to be healthy and safe – even for people with asthma and contact allergies. Particular attention has been paid to the use of environmentally compatible materials. The interior also complies with the Oeko-Tex 100 ecological standard – a major step towards a healthier in-car environment. Oeko-Tex certification covers components such as fabrics, threads, carpets and safety belts. In addition, the leather used in the upholstery is treated in a chromium-free tanning process based on natural plant extracts, and thus also meets the Oeko-Tex requirements. Other components such as the handbrake button, load anchoring eyebolts, Space Ball and steering wheel badge are tested for contact allergens and meet the EU directive for nickel leakage from jewellery.

Interior Air Quality System (IAQS)

     Volvo Cars works systematically to create a healthy passenger compartment environment. A cabin filter helps prevent dust, particulates and pollen from entering the interior through the ventilation system. All Volvos can also be equipped with an interior air quality system, IAQS. This consists of an electronic sensor that monitors the amount of carbon monoxide in the incoming air and closes the air intakes if the level becomes too high, for example in dense city traffic, traffic tailbacks and tunnels. A combined filter with an activated carbon element helps protect the occupants from virtually all unpleasant odors caused, for example, by petrol and diesels exhaust fumes, washer fluid and oil. The combined filter also reduces occupant exposure to gases such as nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone and hydrocarbons. 

Partnerships and society’s commitments

     No single car maker can alter global environmental trends. We have to cooperate to get the best results. Volvo Cars operates as part of an international network of public agencies, researchers, manufacturers and other commercial interests to minimize existing environmental problems and help prevent future problems. The purpose of this cooperation is to identify new technical solutions and to inform customers on how environmental impact can be reduced.
  It is the automotive industry’s job to build clean cars. But a cleaner society is something we can only build together. As part of its contribution, Volvo Cars is participating in a number of partnerships and societal projects.

EPI – Environmental Product Information

     Volvo Environmental Product Information is a unique database which enables the car buyer to assess the lifetime environmental impact of a car and compare different Volvo models and powertrains.

 For more information, please visit:

High-tech 3.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine finds its way into new refined Volvo XC90

          Refined and more car like design

          Upgraded interior

          Sharper powertrain range with new, highly advanced 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine

          Focus on driver control including new Park Assist Camera

          World-class audio system with Dynaudio speakers and Dolby Pro Logic II

          50 percent of total sales in the USA


     The new XC90 is intended to strengthen Volvo Cars’ position in a SUV market that received the first XC90 generation with standing ovations. Story

Volvo Car Corporation, Accessories - Wireless hands-free function in Volvo cars with Bluetooth® and a mobile telephone

• Automatic connection to the car’s loudspeaker system
• The system recognizes up to four different telephones
• Easy to switch between hands-free and telephone
• Voice dialing promotes traffic

It is now possible to connect a Bluetooth-capable mobile telephone to a Volvo car’s audio and loud-speaker system – totally wirelessly. With the help of the new accessory Volvo Hands-free with Bluetooth®, a mobile telephone becomes an integrated hands-free system with voice dialing.

Volvo Hands-free with Bluetooth® can be fitted in most late-model Volvo cars. The system consists of an electronic control module, a module with function buttons, a dedicated microphone located near the rear-view mirror, and the necessary wiring. The mobile telephone used must be Bluetooth-capable. Once a paired link has been set up with the car’s Bluetooth module, the telephone is recognized and connected automatically when the owner enters the car. Story

Volvo Models Best in Interior Air Quality According to New Study

      An independent survey carried out by the Ecology Center in Detroit shows that the interiors of Volvo’s cars emit lower levels of toxic substances than other car makes.

      The Ecology Center recently presented a study (Toxic at Any Speed: Chemicals in Cars & the Need for Safe Alternatives) of the toxic chemicals used in building car interiors. Flame retardant PBDE and phthalates, whose main use is as a softener in plastics, were included in the study. These chemical substances can migrate from plastics and textiles, particularly at high temperatures. The car’s occupants may thus be exposed to these substances, for instance through the respiratory system. Certain types of phthalates and flame retardants can for instance promote genetic mutations and can subject car occupants to health hazards. The survey reveals that the concentrations of PBDE in dust and on the windscreen are up to five times higher than in the homes of most people, and since many people today spend a lot of time in their cars, car interiors thus have a significant effect on human health.  For More

Volvo iPod Adapter - Volvo opens up to iPod users

Now it will be possible for iPod users to plug their entire music archive into their Volvo’s audio system. Together with supplier PhatNoise Inc and Apple, Volvo Cars has developed an adapter kit for installation in the Volvo S80 from model year 1999 on and in the S60, V70 and XC70 from model year 2001.

     iPod is the world's number one digital music player and allows music lovers to carry their entire music collection with them on the go.  Now with the Volvo iPod Adapter, they can play their music in their Volvo. 

Volvo Seats Get Top Scores in 2006 Thatcham Whiplash Tests

      Once again, Volvo has achieved top scores in the latest, 2006 model year new car whiplash ratings by the UK's Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre in Thatcham¹ which conducted the tests on behalf of the International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group (IIWPG).

     In fact, Volvo was one of only two manufacturers to achieve top 'Good' scores for every model tested² thanks to its supportive seats which have a fixed head restraint position to ensure they are always in the correct position to offer the best support, and the Volvo Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) that moves the entire backrest to absorb the impact during a rear-end collision to help reduce the forces on the neck.  Story

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