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Polestar 0: A Truly Carbon-Neutral Car By 2030

Polestar is a bit different than most car companies. By that I mean that its particular brand of progressivism and sustainability seems to come from a very genuine place, whether they’re talking about the decision to launch as a purely electrified performance brand or its commitment to offering vegan interiors in its cars. When people are willing to listen, I like to tell them another way Polestar is different:  instead of “concept cars,” the company builds “promise cars.” Cars that the company has promised will see production largely unchanged, and the first of those cars, the Polestar Precept, may just be the world’s first truly carbon-neutral car.

Polestar Precept "promise car"

Precept “promise car,” image courtesy Polestar.

This week, Polestar announced “Project 0,” a plan to deliver a truly carbon-neutral car driven by a “design towards zero” focus that aims to eliminate emissions, not just offset them by planting trees or buying credits.

“Offsetting is a cop-out,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “By pushing ourselves to create a completely climate-neutral car, we are forced to reach beyond what is possible today. We will have to question everything, innovate, and look to exponential technologies as we design towards zero.”

In case you missed it, that statement seems to be targeting companies like GM and Volkswagen, which spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying “carbon credits” from EVs in order to continue building more polluting– and more profitable — ICE-powered trucks and SUVs. In a way, though, it also targets Tesla, which profits from the sales of the carbon credits it earns selling electric cars. I mean, that makes it complicit, at least — right?

Polestar, meanwhile, seems to see its role in reducing carbon emissions as going beyond the simple sale of EVs. Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén, agrees. “We’re electric, so we don’t have to worry about combustion engines producing toxic emissions,” she says. “But that doesn’t mean our job is done. We will now work to eradicate all emissions stemming from production of our vehicles … do better and dare to build the dream of climate-neutral, circular and beautiful cars.”

Polestar Product Sustainability Declaration

Polestar Place in Oslo, image courtesy Polestar.

Sustainability declarations, already commonplace in industries like food and fashion, will be applied to all future Polestar models, including the Polestar 2 (which is already on the road, and earning rave reviews). The labels will initially disclose the car’s carbon footprint and traced risk materials, like the cobalt used in the construction of the cars’ batteries. The labels will also appear on the company’s website and in the physical Polestar Spaces retail settings, setting a unique precedent of transparency for the automotive industry.

What do you guys think? Is this an example of genuine concern and progressive thinking, or is Polestar just doing a better job greenwashing its products than other car companies? What did you think about that jab at Tesla, while we’re at it? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know.

Source | Images: Polestar.

 
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Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.

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