Friday, September 24, 2010

Volvo Trucks Split From Nissan Whilst They Promote Greener Transport

Japanese Light Truck Division Restructures and now Your Cell Phone Can Measure Your Pollution
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – SWEDEN – Volvo and Nissan are to go their separate ways after collaborating on the production of light duty trucks in Japan. Volvo subsidiary, UD Trucks will concentrate more on the production of medium and heavy duty trucks whilst continuing to have its own manufacturing operation for light duty trucks for the export market. From January 2011Nissan Motor will move the production of light trucks to Nissan Shatai, an affiliate company of Nissan Motor.

During 2009, UD Trucks produced 6,150 light duty trucks within the collaboration framework and up until August this year, 4,800 vehicles had been produced and sold to Nissan Motor. Volvo say the end of the contracting collaboration manufacturing trucks for Nissan Motor will not result in any restructuring costs or have any significant impact on the Volvo Group’s earnings or financial position.

Meanwhile on home ground Volvo Information Technology AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of AB Volvo, dedicated to delivering IT solutions to organisations like Ford and Swedish regional authorities, have come up with a new mobile phone and web application to reduce carbon emissions. Using the technology Volvo say you can turn your mobile phone into a CO2 meter.

The new app is called Commute Greener and is aimed at reducing peoples’ carbon emissions through changes in their commuting habits. Volvo say the balance between the growing need for transport, on the one hand, and the environment and health, on the other, poses a constant challenge for municipal planners, logistics specialists, companies and the producers of transport solutions. Commute Greener has proven to influence people’s awareness and to generate measurable results by making individuals aware of their own carbon emissions.

The technology is being used by the City of Gothenburg in Sweden, which is offering Commute Greener to employees in a suburb as well as at a public office. The participants were put into some 50 different groups, each containing between five and 50 people. They all began by entering their normal travel patterns into the web/mobile-phone software and thereby received an individual carbon footprint. To date, 9,900 zero-emission kilometres have been registered by the employees of the City of Gothenburg, a distance corresponding to 235 marathons.

At the same time, they set a target for reducing their carbon emissions; each individual kilogram of carbon dioxide was calculated. The average target was a reduction of around 10%, which corresponded, for example, to leaving the car at home for one day every second week. Most of the groups have surpassed their targets. Within the space of ten weeks, one group had managed to smash its reduction target; the group members reduced their carbon emissions by 67%.

Increasing the number of pedestrians and cyclists is not only good for the environment; it also has a positive impact on health and saving fuel money and, whilst currently not directly freight related, the technology could be expanded to reduce pollution on city wide cargo deliveries and is another tool to assist the desire which almost all companies have to prove their green credentials run right through their organisation. Volvo also says using the technology brings an added level of team spirit within any company.