It’s tempting to assume that we can achieve a sustainable and emission-free future by simply getting everyone to drive electric cars. But the truth is a lot more complicated. That’s why Polestar is spearheading a movement for transparency throughout the automotive industry. Promoting supply chain traceability is essential to avoid human rights violations and environmental damage from mineral mining. And communicating openly about the true environmental impact of the entire life cycle of electric cars, from production to end-of-life.
It’s obvious that electric cars don’t produce any tailpipe emissions, but the level of emissions produced during the manufacturing process has been unclear. An industry-wide lack of transparency makes it difficult to understand electric cars’ full environmental impact, and almost impossible to compare cars from different manufacturers. Polestar is leading by example, revealing the lifetime carbon footprint of all our new models, starting with the Polestar 2, and the full methodology behind it. We hope that this will help people to fully understand the impact of electric cars, make conscious purchasing decisions, and motivate them to charge renewably.
The numbers below compare the lifetime CO2e footprint of the Polestar 2 to the conventionally fuelled Volvo XC40. They reveal that the Polestar 2 has a lower climate impact over its lifetime than the XC40, but that "going green" isn't quite as simple as just buying an electric car. The numbers come from the Polestar 2 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that we performed ourselves. The LCA includes emissions from materials production, manufacturing and logistics, the cars’ use phase, and the end of life.
These numbers are just the edited highlights. For full details of everything we analysed, plus the methodology we used to assess our results, download the full Polestar 2 LCA.
Transparency is key when it comes to greater sustainability. It’s only when companies are honest about what goes into their products, and the impact those products have, that consumers can make informed choices. Therefore, we’ve begun with sustainability labelling: product sustainability declarations showing cradle-to-gate ton CO2 and traced materials of Polestar cars, with percentage of recycled/renewable materials to follow. This will clearly show a product’s climate impact and traceability, with circularity to be added.
We want the whole automotive industry to be more transparent and share their methods for assessing and reporting their cars’ carbon footprint. This will enable consumers to finally make truly informed choices. That’s why, as well as publishing the Polestar 2 Life Cycle Assessment, we’re also providing full details of the methodology we used. Greater transparency, industry wide, is in the best interests of everyone: consumers, manufacturers, and last but not least, the environment.
We work hard to ensure that the minerals and materials we use in our batteries are mined responsibly, paying full respect to human rights and creating minimal pollution. Through our partnership with blockchain provider Circulor, we can track cobalt throughout our entire supply chain. Plans include the possible addition of other raw materials, like nickel, mica, manganese, graphite and lithium.
This means that both the sources of these materials, as well as the methods by which they’re extracted, processed and transported, can be better regulated. Thanks to this innovative traceability approach, we can feel confident that the materials used in battery production come from mines and/or recycling facilities that adhere to our standards. Through Polestar’s product sustainability declarations, it is possible to follow the carbon footprint and traced risk materials of our cars.