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 central 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 aims to eliminate emissions, 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 more significant challenge.
A car has some 30,000 components, and building one relies on complex relationships between suppliers and sub-manufacturers who all have to come together in perfect production timing 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 say it will focus on five critical areas in its pursuit to build a climate-neutral car. These being:
- Building a climate-neutral platform that models can be made 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 its vehicles’ carbon footprint and traced risk materials 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 more significant than that of a comparable gasoline vehicle; however, as soon as the cars 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 the better choice for the environment: gasoline vehicles or EVs.