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Volvo investing big in aluminium mega casting

Volvo Cars is investing approximately €942m (SEK 10bn) in its Torslanda manufacturing plant in Sweden in the coming years, in preparation for the production of the next generation of fully electric cars.

As part of the planned investments, the company will introduce a number of new and more sustainable technologies and manufacturing processes in the plant.

These include the introduction of mega casting of aluminium body parts, a new battery assembly plant and fully refurbished paint and final assembly shops.

The investments follow on a recent announcement by Volvo Cars and Northvolt, a leading battery cell company, to invest around €2.8bn (SEK 30bn) in the development and manufacturing of high-quality, tailor-made batteries for the next generation of pure electric Volvo models.

Both investment plans represent new steps towards Volvo Cars’ ambition to be a fully electric car company by 2030, according to its chief executive, Håkan Samuelsson.

“With these investments we take an important step towards our all-electric future and prepare for even more advanced and better electric Volvos,” he said. “Torslanda is our largest plant and will play a crucial role in our ongoing transformation as we move towards becoming a pure electric car maker by 2030.”

The introduction of mega casting of aluminium body parts for the next generation of electric Volvo models is the most significant change implemented as part of the investment package.

Mega casting creates a number of benefits in terms of sustainability, cost and car performance during the cars life time.

Volvo Cars is one of the first car makers to invest in this process.

Casting major parts of the floor structure of the car as one single aluminium part reduces weight, which in turn improves the energy efficiency and thereby the electric range of the car.

This also allows Volvo designers to optimally use the available space inside the cabin and luggage area, boosting the overall versatility of the car.

Other benefits from mega-casting include reduced complexity in the manufacturing process. That in turn creates cost-savings in terms of material use and logistics, reducing the overall environmental footprint across the manufacturing and supply chain networks.

The upgrade of the paint shop involves the installation of new machinery and implementing new processes, which are expected to support the ongoing reduction of paint shop energy consumption and emissions.