Volvo Polestar
9:00 PM | September 25 2020

Polestar aims to lead industry in environmental transparency

Volvo Group’s electric performance brand Polestar has called on the automotive industry to become transparent about the environmental impact of electric vehicles.
Electric performance brand Polestar will publish full details of the climate impact of its electric vehicles (EVs), as the company aims to be the most transparent in the automotive industry.
The Swedish company is revealing a headline number that shows the climate impact of its EVs as they leave the production line. Polestar’s complete Life Cycle Assessment goes further to show the total climate impact of the car over its life cycle.
The move marks a significant shift for an industry that has struggled in recent years to convince consumers of its sustainability credentials and sets new standards for other car makers to follow.
“Car manufacturers have not been clear in the past with consumers on the environmental impact of their products,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “That’s not good enough. We need to be honest, even if it makes for uncomfortable reading.”
Using its own analysis, Polestar found the new Polestar 2 electric GT car leaves the factory with a 26-tonne carbon footprint. Compared to a Volvo XC40 with a petrol internal combustion engine, Polestar 2 has a larger footprint in the manufacturing phase, mainly due to the energy-intensive battery production process.

Fredrika Klaren
Above: Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén.
Once the EV reaches the customer, further CO2e* emissions are negligible – if the vehicle is charged with green energy. After 50,000km of driving, the fossil-fuel car surpasses the EV in total CO2e emissions.
“The message is clear,” says Thomas Ingenlath. “Electric vehicles offer a route to climate neutrality and we will use the insights from this report to reach that goal.”
Polestar points at the disturbing lack of transparency across the industry, as it is today impossible for a consumer to compare the climate impact of different cars.
One significant issue is that there is a range of different calculations used for Life Cycle Assessments by various car makers. Polestar is sharing its entire methodology and is now asking other car makers to open up and be more transparent.
“Fragmentation will only lead to confusion. Car manufacturers have to come together and be more transparent,” says Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at Polestar. “What we’re saying at Polestar is, ‘As an industry, let’s help consumers make the right choice.’”
The full methodology for Polestar’s Life Cycle Assessment and the analysis of the Polestar 2 carbon footprint can be found at:
*Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) “Carbon dioxide equivalent” or “CO2e” is a term for describing different greenhouse gases (GHG) in a common unit.

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