Polestar has signed letters of intent with five European mass-manufacturers with a view to introducing the first ‘truly climate-neutral’ car by 2030.
Announced for the first time in April last year as an ambitious alternative to existing green initiatives – “Offsetting is a cop-out” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath explained at the time – the ‘Polestar 0 Project’ aims to develop a climate-neutral vehicle and eliminate emissions from the manufacturing process in their entirety, from the supply chain through to and including vehicle assembly.
Alongside the obvious environmental benefits, the project was inspired by a study on climate change released by the Intergovernmental Panel, which explained that a failure for manufacturers to collectively lower their emissions worldwide had a knock-on effect with regards forest fires: as global temperatures increase, droughts become more frequent, and dense, carbon-engulfing areas of forest land are effectively transformed into tinder boxes.
With five new partners now on the brink of moving development forward, this latest announcement marks the first major step for Polestar 0 Project since its introduction.
Each partner will focus on one element of what Polestar calls the ‘Life Cycle Assessments’ of its current product lineup in a bid to reimagine each process, and thus remove their respective carbon footprints.
Steel specialist SSAB, based in Stockholm, will concentrate on developing fossil-free steel, an alternative to conventional steel used in vehicular production. Similarly, Norwegian renewable energy company Hydro will explore the potential of zero-carbon aluminum. Automotive systems supplier ZF meanwhile will attempt to save resources and eliminate emissions from the powertrains and electrical systems, a focus that goes hand-in-hand with that of ZK, which will deal with potentially climate-neutral lighting and wiring. Finally, Swedish-American automotive safety experts Autoliv have been assigned the seatbelts and airbags.
Alongside its new partners, Polestar has also extended an open invitation to suppliers and researchers worldwide, including government and non-government entities, to work on a project that, the Swedish premium EV manufacturer states, prioritizing “changing the way that cars are made, rather than planting trees to offset CO2 emissions.”
“We believe in the exponential development of climate solution technologies,” Polestar 0 Project leader Hans Pehrson explains in an official statement. “For this project, we must tap into solutions that are still in the innovation stage. Even more exciting is that the solutions we develop will not only benefit the automotive industry overall but help decarbonise manufacturing and society more widely as well. Wherever we look in the world we see materials like steel, aluminium, electronics and rubber. Imagine when we can make these materials climate-neutral to produce. Together, we can make the seemingly impossible possible.”