Now that peak car might already be a thing of the past and the climate crisis the present, the auto industry knows a crunch is coming. Companies that can’t produce cars that don’t exacerbate environmental problems—never mind turn a buck while doing so—probably won’t have much of a future, and may not survive the transition. Geely-owned Volvo spinoff Polestar seeks to be among the survivors, and to secure its place on the ark, has announced a goal to produce what it calls the “first truly climate-neutral car by 2030.”
Polestar proclaimed this along with its plans to issue sustainability declarations on its Polestar 2 EV in its first annual sustainability report, published Wednesday. In an accompanying release, Polestar executives professed the importance of carmakers taking responsibility for the waste their industry creates, with CEO Thomas Ingenlath going as far as calling carbon offsetting a “cop-out.”
“We’re electric, so we don’t have to worry about combustion engines producing toxic emissions—but that doesn’t mean our job is done,” remarked Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén. “We will now work to eradicate all emissions stemming from the production of our vehicles.”
“Now is a historic and exciting time for car manufacturers, an opportunity to seize the moment, do better, and dare to build the dream of climate-neutral, circular and beautiful cars,” he added.
Polestar’s use of “climate-neutral” implies an approach more holistic than carbon neutrality, one that may involve the curtailing of plastic waste or recycling of manufacturing byproducts. No examples this specific, however, were disclosed, nor were the ways in which Polestar’s “climate-neutral” production differs from that of Volkswagen’s “balance sheet CO2-neutral” manufacture of the ID.3.
The Drive contacted Polestar for elucidation on its “climate-neutral” production plans, and we will update when we receive comment.
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