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Polestar announces goal of climate-neutral car by 2030

Polestar, the premium electric performance car brand founded by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding, has set a goal of creating the first climate-neutral car by 2030. The Polestar 0 project will drive a ‘design towards zero’ focus by eliminating emissions rather than offsetting by planting trees. The company made the announcement in its first annual review.

Environmental experts have warned that offsetting is not sustainable in the long run. Questions around the long-term carbon-storage capacity of forests and soils remain, as a forest might be logged, devastated by fire or altered by climate change.

Offsetting is a cop-out. 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.

—Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO

We’re electric, so we don’t have to worry about combustion engines producing toxic emissions—but that doesn’t mean our job is done. We will now work to eradicate all emissions stemming from production. Now is a historic and exciting time for car makers, an opportunity to seize the moment, do better and dare to build the dream of climate-neutral, circular and beautiful cars.

—Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén

Climate action is already being incorporated throughout the Polestar business, and climate targets are integrated in the Polestar employee bonus system.

Sustainability declarations, common in industries like food and fashion, will be applied to all future Polestar models. Starting with Polestar 2 and initially disclosing carbon footprint and traced risk materials, labeling will appear on the company website and in Polestar Spaces, setting a unique transparency precedent for the industry. Reflecting continuous sustainability updates, additional details and information will be added over time.

Polestar2

Polestar 2


Consumers are a huge driving force in the shift to a sustainable economy. They need to be given the right tools to make informed and ethical decisions. This makes things very clear. Today, Polestar 2 leaves the factory gates with a carbon footprint. In 2030 we want to present a car that does not.

—Thomas Ingenlath

Comments

Davemart

Polestar in my view continue the heritage of environmental and corporate responsibility from their Swedish and Volvo heritage, in spite of now being Chinese owned.

Folk here may think I am anti BEV, but that is far from the case.
I am anti the vast waste of capital and plundering of tax breaks etc to give the wealthy encouragement to buy long range BEVs on the grounds that that will drive the battery industry to produce competitive cars with ICE.

That is a vastly expensive way of doing things, when current batteries don't come anywhere close.

When we have batteries which will do the job, I am all for them.

But Polestar set high standards for unbiased assessment of the GHG costs and benefits of their BEVs

Here is the detailed report which I took apart at length:

https://www.polestar.com/dato-assets/11286/1600176185-20200915polestarlcafinala.pdf

It is perfectly clear from this that they provide substantial savings in GHG emissions over a comparable ICE.

Two caveats: my view is that public funds and tax breaks could be far more effectively deployed and lead to far larger savings if used for a multiplicity of things, so cement and steel production, fertiliser and so on, and in transport by ensuring every ICE is a hybrid one, and by taxing SUVs more and using the funds to encourage lighter cars.

The other is that this applies to Polestar, which is fanatical about accounting for and reducing GHG at every stage of the production process, and should not be generalised to claim the same for other BEVs.

In reality I would not think that a company which encourages the purchase of their cars with the vastly energy intensive Bitcoin is in any way interested in GHG emissions, that is just a sales line and to grub subsidies. and I doubt that they really care about let alone account for GHG emissions in the production of their cars.

But kudos to Polestar!

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