Yearly Highlights 2021
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.
Along with commitment, challenging conventions requires innovation. The most innovative ideas are brought about through collaboration. And 2021 was, undoubtedly, a year of innovation and collaboration alike. In March, we unveiled the Re:Move project together with our partners CAKE, Hydro, Konstantin Grcic, and Wallpaper*. A small but multi-functional electric transporter, sparking new thinking around urban infrastructure and mobility.
And in the spirit of innovation, collaboration, and design, it felt natural to become an official partner of London Design District. A new rallying point for London’s creative industries, London Design District was listed as one of Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places 2021. In October, we hosted an interbranch panel discussion, peeking into what the future of electric, climate-neutral mobility might look like.
We (well, the headlights of Polestar 2, more precisely) also became part of Norwegian-German artist Yngve Holen solo exhibition “Foreign Object Debris”, at display in Beijing’s X Museum.
But we did not only find new partners. We were (very much so) out and about in the real world, growing our community by taking part in several larger events. For instance, we swung by (literally) our favourite festival, Goodwood Festival of Speed with the Experimental Polestar 2.
And while we were out and about, we also brought our design language to its next evolutionary step.
2020 marked the inauguration of the Polestar Design Contest, an annual event bringing together student and professional designers from all different backgrounds and locations to see what a more sustainable electric future could look like. For the second iteration of the competition, we pushed the idea of “progress”. And due to lifted COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s winners got a chance to come visit Polestar in our hometown Gothenburg for a unique in-person award ceremony.
Polestar 1, our first (and final) electric performance hybrid is a meeting point of obsessive design and technological innovation. 2021 being its last year of production, we decided to unveil a special edition at Auto Shanghai. A Polestar 1 featuring a matte gold exterior paint job, complemented by gold-finished brake calipers. Because if you’re going to say goodbye, you might as well do it (gold) style.
Polestar Precept, on the other hand, is our vision of the future. And throughout 2021, it has toured around the globe, turning heads at all four compass points.
Our vision of the future isn’t limited to cutting-edge design, however. It also includes climate-neutral mobility.
As we shared our first-ever annual review, we also embarked on our most ambitious journey this far: Polestar 0 project. Our goal to create the world’s first truly climate-neutral car, vowing to eliminate all emissions throughout the supply chain and production, without resorting to offsetting. It’s the biggest challenge we could set for ourselves. And it will become even harder as we get closer to zero. Do we already know how we will achieve it? Certainly not. But if we don’t put all our strength towards this one overall goal, we will never figure it out.
One imperative step towards a more sustainable future is to be honest about our products’ impact. We must embrace transparency. And by “we”, we mean the entire car industry. That’s why we released the LCA report for our new Polestar 2 variants, including all emissions from cradle to grave, and the methodology used. In the spirit of full transparency, we also launched our product sustainability declaration: labelling each product with the cradle-to-gate ton CO2e and traced materials, with the percentage of recycled/renewable materials to follow.
At COP26 (the UN Climate Change Conference 2021) we pushed the above messages. Calling for harder and bolder climate targets in the car industry. Encouraging OEMs and suppliers alike to embrace transparency. And emphasising the importance of green charging. To make sure that the goals expressed are preserved and followed up, we decided to take notes. In stone.
Innovation drives sustainable practices. Sustainability guides good design. And design-driven innovation has the power to revolutionise how we see and use products. Together, these convictions defined some of the most memorable highpoints of 2021 and a further expansion of the Polestar universe. We can’t wait to see what 2022 holds.
Design Towards Zero Award Winners: Werewool
Werewool’s textile innovation and sustainable technology has the potential to revolutionise the clothing industry. With a new class of protein-based biodegradable textile fibres the textile industry's dependence on extractive raw materials, harmful dyes, and plastics can be broken.