Energy can take many shapes and forms. Thermal. Radiant. Negative or positive (optimism for the win). And the same goes for the energy temporarily stored in your EV's battery. It may be green. Or not at all. It all comes down to how you charge your car.
As a consumer, swapping your petrol car for an electric is one of the many impactful actions you can do for the climate. Regardless of how you charge it. However, we need to ensure EVs can reach their full potential.
Electric cars, like most products, have a carbon footprint created primarily during manufacturing. While the footprint of a Polestar 2 is lower than a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE) regardless of how you charge it, the EV will keep racking up its carbon footprint throughout its use phase if we charge it with fossil fuel energy, like coal or oil, it. But if it’s charged with green energy, said footprint remains flat throughout the car’s lifetime. Something an ICE vehicle could never achieve.
Evidently, going green is the right way to go.
But going green could be a lot trickier than one might expect.
A recent study found that the EV charging market suffers from a lack of transparency, and the available data suggests that only a low percentage of charging stations globally are run on energy from renewable sources. The proportion of green energy in a country's charging infrastructure can even be lower than in the country's overall energy mix, meaning the range of energy sources available.
What does this mean then, in reality? It means that an EV owner who charges at public charging stations, may not be driving as emission-free as they might think.
The answer is (spoiler alert) transparency. In order for consumers to vote with their feet, and help create a movement of true climate action, charging providers need to be transparent about the energy they supply to the grid. Without this, we cannot take on the real enemy: climate change.
There are several types of energy. Elastic. Chemical. Gravitational. But only green energy will bring us to a future with climate neutral mobility.
Challenging conventions. Evolving our design language. Driving climate action. These are the convictions that define the Polestar universe. Looking back across another eventful year, it's evident that they've all contributed to the expansion of said universe. These are our highlights from 2021.
Our world is one of systems. Society functions as it does because of these complex, far-flung networks of production, distribution, and consumption. But what happens when these systems fail? When a component is removed, examined, and recontextualised? These questions are what fascinate Norwegian-German artist Yngve Holen, who has given new context to several objects (a Polestar 2 headlight among them) in his latest solo exhibition.
Everything we produce today has an environmental footprint. EVs are no exception. But that doesn't have to be the case. Over time we can change how cars are made. And you can influence that progress. Because what you choose to buy is what the industry becomes. To enable us all to choose the greenest path, we all need to understand the scope of that footprint.