Swedish performance EV firm Polestar has declared a “moonshot goal” to create “the first truly climate neutral car by 2030.”
The Polestar 0 project will aim to cut carbon emissions by changing the way that cars are made, says the firm, rather than using traditional processes and then planting trees to offset CO2e. The approach will encompass collaboration across the entire development process and value chain, from suppliers to retailers.
The firm appears to align with those who 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,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “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.”
Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén, said: “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.”
Sustainability declarations, common in industries like food and fashion, will be applied to all future Polestar models, said the firm. Starting with Polestar 2 and initially disclosing carbon footprint and traced risk materials, labeling will appear on the company website and elsewhere, setting “a unique transparency precedent for the industry.” Reflecting continuous sustainability updates, additional details and information will be added over time.
Thomas Ingenlath added: “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.”