When an automotive company proclaims that it developed a zero-emission car, it means that to offset the emissions generated during its production, it made efforts and investments such as planting trees. However, Polestar, Volvo's electric car division, announced that it is developing the first climate-neutral car that will eliminate all emissions throughout the supply and production chain, without the need for any kind of offset project.
The project is called Polestar 0 and will be ready by 2030 when it leaves the factory with a zero carbon footprint. To achieve this, Polestar will use a circular design that includes circular batteries, recycled materials and renewable energy throughout that manufacturing chain.
Although Polestar already sells electric cars, it still generates emissions from mining materials for batteries, refining these materials, and from building the entire vehicle.
One of the requirements to achieve a truly zero-emission car is the implementation of a policy of full transparency, which is why Polestar will publish on its website, from now on, a product sustainability report for all its car models, starting with full disclosure of the carbon footprint.
This decision will help, over time, to incorporate more policies for the use of recycled and renewable materials for the construction of cars. To this is added that the Polestar factory in Chengdu, China, runs on 100% renewable electricity.
According to the UN Special Report on Climate Change and Land, planting trees to offset the carbon emissions generated by car manufacturing is not sustainable in the long term as it means using too much land and is not well understood. Furthermore, nothing ensures that those trees will not be cut down or consumed by a forest fire afterwards.