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Driving the future of sustainable mobility

This article was published on April 7, 2021


Polestar challenges itself to make an entirely carbon neutral car by 2030

Another key component in the future of sustainable mobility

Polestar challenges itself to make an entirely carbon neutral car by 2030 Image by: Stefan Isaksson
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Last year, on World EV day, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath declared that “Electric cars are not clean.” With its latest announcement, it seems the startup EV maker is keen to address that fact.

Today, as part of its first annual review, Polestar has declared its ambition to make a car that’s entirely climate neutral by 2030, in what it dubs the Polestar 0 project.

While Polestar already makes a battery electric car — the Polestar 2 — that has zero tailpipe emissions, as with other EVs CO2 is created during its production.

It comes as no surprise, that eliminating production emissions will be the main area of focus for Polestar as it seeks to build a climate neutral EV.

What’s Polestar’s plan?

Rather than planting trees to offset the carbon produced during vehicle manufacture, Polestar is aiming to eliminate emissions altogether, with a philosophy it calls “design towards zero.”

“Offsetting is a cop-out,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, said in a statement. “By pushing ourselves to create a completely climate-neutral car, we are forced to reach beyond what is possible today. We will have to question everything, innovate and look to exponential technologies as we design towards zero.

That’s a simple idea, but making it a reality will be a much greater challenge.

A car has some 30,000 components, and building one relies on complex relationships between suppliers and sub-manufacturers, that all have to come together in perfect timing for production to happen smoothly.

“We don’t have to worry about combustion engines producing toxic emissions — but that doesn’t mean our job is done,” said Polestar‘s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén.

“We will now work to eradicate all emissions stemming from production,” she added.

The Volvo and Geely founded EV maker says it is going to focus on five key areas in its pursuit to build a climate neutral car. These being:

  • Building a climate neutral platform that models can be built on
  • Using climate neutral materials
  • Energy optimization
  • Climate neutral manufacturing
  • Installing renewable energy in its supply chain

Polestar is aware of the challenge that lies ahead, and while it does have a strategic roadmap for its 2030 goal, it realizes there are many questions and answers left to be discovered.

Alongside Polestar’s ambitions to make a climate neutral vehicle, it will more clearly disclose the carbon footprint and traced risk materials of its vehicles on its website and at its Spaces retail outlets.

One of the big arguments detractors make against EVs is the carbon footprint associated with their production. Typically, it’s far bigger than that of a comparable gasoline vehicle, however, as soon as the vehicles hit the road, the EV catches up and overtakes the gasoline car in terms of lifetime emissions.

Hopefully, there will come a day when we can purchase an EV that doesn’t come with any production emissions. When that day does come, it will surely spell the absolute end of the argument over what’s the better choice for the environment: gasoline vehicles or EVs.


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