Polestar unveils 0 project to create a climate-neutral car
Fredrika Klarén, who leads the company’s sustainability work, describes this as their biggest challenge so far. The moonshot goal.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
April 07, 2021
Only weeks ago, during SXSW (South by SouthWest) Conference & Festival, Polestar launched Re:Move. It’s a prototype of a multi-functional electric transporter for the city, created by designer Konstantin Grcic, together with Wallpaper* Magazine, aluminum producer Hydro, and electric motorbike pioneer Cake, and a working version will be unveiled this autumn.
”This is only the beginning,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath commented.
Today, the progressive EV company shares their latest initiative, Polestar 0 — a truly climate-neutral car by 2030.
— It’s our biggest challenge so far, our moonshot goal, Fredrika Klarén states. Polestar 0 will be a climate-neutral car when it rolls out of the factory gates. Our designers, engineers, and suppliers will continue what we have already started but also amplify the pursuit of the solutions needed to create this car.
— The Polestar 0 project will aim to cut carbon emissions by changing the way that cars are made, rather than using traditional processes and then planting trees to offset CO2e.
— By applying exponential thinking to the climate issue we are future-proofing ourselves. A challenge like this will seem impossible if approached in a linear way. When talking about exponential tech, the micro processer easily comes to mind, but also other ones like solar cells, blockchain, and lithium-ion batteries. All these have seen exponential development and have proven to be important solutions for sustainable development — we build our plan recognizing this.
Why is this such an important project for you?
— It was born out of a conviction that we all need to push ourselves and move faster to stay within the 1.5-degree target, says Klarén. Being electric, we don’t have to worry about toxic fumes from a tailpipe, but that doesn’t mean our job is done. We know that electric cars offer a clear route to net zero, and we want to see the car industry turn itself around and become a driving force in the shift to green mobility and a sustainable economy.
What is and will become the biggest challenges?
— A car consists of some 30,000 components and relies on complex layers of supplier and sub manufacturers. To reach full climate neutrality throughout the supply chain is an unprecedented challenge for such a complex product. No other carmaker that we know of has so far taken on the challenge of making a truly climate-neutral car, without relying on third-party offsetting like tree planting.
You also introduce a Product Sustainability Declaration for customers. What is that?
— Sustainability declarations are commonplace in industries like food or fashion, but in the car industry, it will be unique. But not for long, we hope! We would love for other carmakers to follow this initiative; we believe it would have a huge impact if the industry followed suit and this became common practice. Consumers are one of the biggest driving forces in the shift to a green economy — we need to enable them to make informed choices by giving transparent tools.
— Starting with Polestar 2, and initially disclosing carbon footprint and traced risk materials, our labelling will appear on the company website and in the Polestar Spaces. Over time and reflecting continuous sustainability updates, additional details and information will be added, for example, recycled content.
What else do you have coming?
— We will expand how we work with blockchain in our supply chain — something I am very excited about. More on that in a few weeks.