Polestar, Volvo’s electric performance brand, will publish full details of the climate impact of its electric vehicles. The company aims to be the most transparent in the automotive industry.
The Swedish company will reveal 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 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.
Once the EV reaches the customer, if charged with green energy, further CO2e1 emissions are negligible. After 50,000 km 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 here.