Currently reading: New Polestar 0 project targets first zero-carbon car by 2030
Polestar aims to eliminate CO2 from production as CEO calls offsetting “a cop-out”
Joe Holding
News
2 mins read
7 April 2021

Polestar says it wants to build the first "truly climate-neutral" car by 2030, laying out the ambition in its first annual review.

The company claims experts have warned that carbon offsetting by planting trees is unsustainable in the long term, as forests could be logged or burned down by wildfires.

“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.”

It’s not yet clear exactly what Polestar will do to achieve its goal, but the company says the project - called Polestar 0 - will have a fundamental impact on the way its cars are built. The firm will also work with suppliers and retailers to eliminate CO2 from their operations.

“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,” said Polestar’s head of sustainability, Fredrika Klarén. “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 claims it has already set to work, with climate targets forming part of its employee bonus scheme. 

The Swedish firm also says it will publish ‘sustainability declarations’ similar to those used in the food and fashion industries, starting with the Polestar 2 and eventually incorporating its entire line-up. These will make clear a car’s carbon footprint, as well as any ‘traced risk materials’ used in its production. More details will be included over time.

“Consumers are a huge driving force in the shift to a sustainable economy,” Ingenlath said. “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.”

The move follows a new trend in the car industry, with manufacturers keen to show that their electric vehicles do more than simply combat tailpipe emissions. Last year, Volkswagen claimed that production of its new ID 3 hatchback would be entirely carbon neutral.

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harf 7 April 2021

Look, if we're all honest we know how to make cars more environmentally friendly - stop building them.

But there's this awkward environmental-political-economic balance where we can't afford NOT to build cars. It employs too many people and raises too much money in taxes, amongst other things.

And please can we stop pretending that CO2 is the only thing that matters in the world. You may make a CO2 neutral car, bully for you, but let's not pretend you've haven't still plundered the worlds resources to make it. Spiriting steel and aluminium out of the air now are we?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no sandal wearing environmentalist but I'm also not blind to what's required to make a car. I love cars, but pls don't play me for a fool.

The power of marketing is just plain scary in the modern world sometimes, don't you think?

Bill Lyons 8 April 2021

The plundering is getting worse. And so is the marketing nonsense. Now we have companies like DRAX chopping down the rainforests and chucking the trees into power stations. And they claim this 'biomass' is environmentally friendly. Utter, utter BS. Even Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth will tell you that. 10% of UK electricity is generated this way. Then another 15% is generated by nuclear power which is also classed as 'renewable'. Yet more BS. Another 40% is generated from fossil fuels, totalling 65%. So on a typical day, when you plug in your EV you're going to be damaging the environment. We need to be far more efficient with our use of resources. I use an electric scooter for most journeys, not a 2.5 tonne leviathan.

harf wrote:

Look, if we're all honest we know how to make cars more environmentally friendly - stop building them.

But there's this awkward environmental-political-economic balance where we can't afford NOT to build cars. It employs too many people and raises too much money in taxes, amongst other things.

And please can we stop pretending that CO2 is the only thing that matters in the world. You may make a CO2 neutral car, bully for you, but let's not pretend you've haven't still plundered the worlds resources to make it. Spiriting steel and aluminium out of the air now are we?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no sandal wearing environmentalist but I'm also not blind to what's required to make a car. I love cars, but pls don't play me for a fool.

The power of marketing is just plain scary in the modern world sometimes, don't you think?

russ13b 7 April 2021

At no point during any of this am i expecting them to consider cars making a return to being smaller, simpler, lighter, not full of toys and buttons. A 100% recyclable 2cv with an engine running on methanol or biodiesel, for example. Reducing the environmental impact potential by actually reducing the car and contents. Making them last longer would be a start too, not just Polestars, all of them.

Bill Lyons 7 April 2021

'It's not yet clear exactly what Polestar will do to achieve its goals,"

Virtue signalling clickbait.