Volvo Project Fenix is an investigation in how the automotive industry can achieve true circularity and enable car manufacturers to reduce the use of resources. The project is proposing a way to make responsible production a profitable part of the company business model.
Project Fenix is taking place in the ongoing shift from personal ownership of vehicles to subscription based mobility, where you get access to a vehicle for a fee – either personal or shared.
The project was executed using Volvo Cars mission of providing Personal, Safe and Sustainable freedom to move as a base, performing thorough research on topics like remanufacturing, serviceability, decentralized production plants. And through the process connecting with engineers, business developers and service developers within the company to understand the complex topic of vehicle maintenance.
The research points towards the need to lengthen the lifetime cars can be offered in subscription services, a time that today is limited to barely 3 years before maintenance costs and profitability becomes a concern for service providers and they sell it off without responsibility or control over what happens later in the product life.
Project Fenix addresses this problem by including service and maintenance as one of the key drivers for the vehicle design, utilizing advancements in modular and compact component design in order to create a system where high maintenance and wear component modules can be quickly replaced in order to enable a longer profitable life for vehicles, but also enable an always up to date and well maintained vehicle for Volvo subscription users. To enable the concept, a future circular workshop system was a lso created, so that cars can quickly be refurbished or repaired to reduce downtime and increase resource efficiency.
Not only is the project addressing business model profitability and improvement in user experience, but also reducing the need for producing new vehicles and parts from raw material, instead focusing on maintaining and making the most out of the product that has already been produced.