Welcome to a new level of transparency.
The transition to all-electric vehicles is happening due to a variety of reasons, mainly environmental. Automakers have no choice but to drastically lower their carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions. This won't be possible with internal combustion engines. EVs will certainly help but other factors matter, too. For example, where does the energy needed to power them come from? Burning coal to power the electricity grid isn't exactly green-friendly.
Polestar, whose goal is to build the world's first climate-neutral vehicle, wants to be transparent regarding its models' carbon footprint. Owners of the new Polestar 2 launch version can already access the Product Sustainability Declaration, which shows critical data such as C02e footprint and the source of build materials. And now Polestar says this declaration will be updated so that owners of the single motor version can gain the same access.
"Carmakers need to take full responsibility," said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "Every week, we see a new announcement that an automaker is changing direction towards electrification. But going electric alone is not enough. Making cars electric is not the end game, it is a starting point. We need to be honest and transparent." Consumer trust is vital.
The company points to recent research that indicates that just one in four car customers trust automakers regarding transparency and the greater good. People who buy Polestars and EVs in general these days are often doing so because they care about the environment and social justice. To prove itself, Polestar has released Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) graphs.
They show that the long-range single motor and standard range single motor leave the Chinese factory with carbon footprints ranging from 24 and 25 tons of C02e. Assuming the vehicle is charged with green energy (i.e. not coal or diesel), then those figures should remain steady throughout the vehicle's life. The long-range dual motor variant has a previously announced 26.2 tons of C02e. The LCA is the industry-standard methodology for assessing environmental impacts.
As these charts clearly show, the Polestar 2 variants produce significantly less C02e than the combustion-engined Volvo XC40. "Our LCA shows that Polestar 2 is already a climate solution," said Polestar's sustainability chief, Fredrika Klaren. "EV technology provides a car with less than half the carbon impact of an equivalent petrol car if charged with green energy." Will rival automakers adopt this level of transparency? They might have to now.