Polestar, the fledgling electric performance brand, is ready for its first moonshot: to create a climate-neutral vehicle by 2030.
With the Polestar 0 project, the electric vehicle maker plans to upend the product development process from beginning to end as well as shake up the value chain, from suppliers to retailers.
"A moonshot goal is something that you use to inspire new thinking, innovation and a sense of urgency," Fredrika Klaren, Polestar's head of sustainability, told Automotive News Europe. "That is what we want to do internally."
Polestar, owned by Volvo Cars and its Chinese parent, Zhejiang Geely Holding, intends to reach the goal by eliminating emissions rather than using tactics such as planting trees to offset carbon dioxide produced from manufacturing.
"Offsetting is a cop-out," Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said. "By pushing ourselves to create a completely climate-neutral car, we are forced to reach beyond what is possible today."
Last year, a life cycle assessment of the Polestar 2 gave the brand an indication of the challenges.
Research showed that the full-electric compact sedan leaves the factory with a carbon footprint of 26 metric tons, mostly because of the carbon created to provide the car its aluminum, batteries and steel.
"This is where we see a lot of dependency on fossil fuels that occur during the production," Klaren said in a video chat. "That is something we will need to tackle."
Klaren said the brand was "very picky" about the suppliers it chose for the Polestar 2 and Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid. For some, Polestar's demands came as a surprise. "They are not used to being asked for data on climate impact or traceability" to make sure the components are made from ethically sourced materials, she said.
Polestar is also committed to disclosing the carbon footprint and traced risk materials for all EVs on the company website and at retail spaces.