23 Feb 22

Polestar extends collaboration to produce a truly carbon-free car

Swedish EV manufacturer Polestar has announced several agreements with global suppliers to produce the first truly climate-neutral car to bolster its zero-emission goals. 

New partnerships in the supply chain include German car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen and Swedish steel company SSAB. Polestar has also signed letters of intent with Norwegian alluminium and renewable energy company Norsk Hydro, automotive safety supplier Swedish Autoliv, electronics and telecoms maker LG Corp and lighting systems and electronics company ZKW Group. 

The global reach-out of Polestar also appears as a message to the global automotive industry to speed up the efforts for electrification. Polestar, which has published a report on the carbon footprints of its EVs, unlike many automakers, signalled the importance of solidarity for reaching zero-emission goals. 

"It was clear from the start that this is not a solo mission, and we are very excited to present such a strong line-up of interested partners," commented Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. 

Promoting transparency 

The global automotive industry is challenged by the mounting fact that manufacturing long-range battery EVs are producing high volumes of green-house-gas (GHS) emissions. 

Polestar, which was established as the joint venture of Volvo Cars Group and Chinese Geely Holding in 2017, displayed an example of trust by publishing a report on the carbon footprint of its EV models compared to ICEs in September 2021. 

In the report, referring to the Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of the Polestar models, Ingenlath stated that "going electric is not enough and making cars electric is a starting point." 

Fredrika Klarén, head of sustainability of Polestar, said, "while they are targeting zero-emissions, the LCA showed that Polestar 2 is not helping the climate but appears a problem (Polestar 2 variants leave the factory with carbon footprints between 24 and 25 tons of CO2). 

How will the collaboration work?

The LCAs have helped Polestar detect the components and processes leading up to carbon emissions, which ultimately need to be replaced. 

The agreements with global suppliers will provide Polestar with the lowest carbon emission materials possible, including tyres, metals, in-vehicle digital systems and safety components. 

  • SSAB will supply fossil-free steel, assisting Polestar to replace not only the conventional steel but also other materials in the car,
  • Norsk Hydro, the world's largest aluminium provider and renewable energy company, will assist Polestar to switch to zero-carbon aluminium,
  • ZF will boost innovation in Polestar EVs by increasing overall systems competence to reduce carbon emissions and lower resource usage,
  • Autoliv will provide zero-emission seatbelts and airbags for Polestar cars, improving safety through eliminating CO2 emissions,
  • ZKW, an automotive lighting supplier, will equip Polestar EVs with climate-neutral electrical control systems and wiring. 

Polestar wants to enhance the global effort to reduce CO2 emissions in academia by using the world's largest academic network, SDSN. Besides the auto industry itself, Polestar is also eager to create a large network of universities, entrepreneurs, investors, governmental and non-governmental institutions to find ways of eliminating carbon emissions. 

The combined efforts in the auto industry and exponential effort on climate solution technologies represent the Polestar zero project, which aims to create a truly neutral car by 2030. The realistic approach, supported by the carbon footprint report, focuses on removing emissions from the supply chain and changing the way the cars are built as a strong supplement to planting trees. 

Image courtesy of Polestar.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen