Polistar’s head of sustainability, Frederica Klaren, is in Australia on holiday with family, and took time to discuss the future of mobility with her before flying back to Gothenburg. which car.
In fact, on holiday Frederica had to buy petrol for the first time in a decade, telling us: “It’s very obvious that I had to do it when I came to Australia, and I don’t want to talk about it… just It felt fundamentally wrong to buy gasoline to finance this industry. I never want to do that again.
But without putting an end to Australia’s EV infrastructure woes, which Clarin says are likely to be resolved more quickly than expected, we’ll be looking at its vision for the next seven years.
“We’ve really tried to imagine what a better society looks like, and we think it sits on four key drivers: climate neutrality, circularity, transparency and inclusion”, said Clarin.
He also stressed the importance of not seeing EVs as a silver bullet for climate change. There are all sorts of supply chain snags, shipping and other factors that can contribute to a silent CO2. Footprints in EVs – the brand is trying to address that by 2030 with its true zero-emissions car, the Polestar 0.
“It’s very dangerous for the industry if it only talks about electric vehicles being the savior, we’re going to be in new ‘diesel gates’.
“Let’s instead be completely transparent, and show the effects of these products, while at the same time making it really clear that [BEVs are] A better alternative now”, said Frederica which car.
Polestar is now exclusively an electric car maker that sits under the Geely umbrella alongside Volvo. Polestar currently sells one vehicle under the downline, the 2 sedan, which was the fourth best-selling vehicle here last year with 1,524 registrations. It will be joined by a larger, more luxurious 3 SUV in the first quarter of 2024.
“It’s critical that we move away from seeing sustainable solutions as trivial, or boring, because it’s not working.”
Pollster calls out industry inaction.
You may have caught Akio Toyoda, the boss of Toyota, The silent majority of automakers are saying that Believe that BEVs alone are not the way forward – Klarén and Polestar beg to differ..
“We cannot continue to use fossil fuels. Our climate strategy is based on the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), it’s a top-down approach – we’ve said we need to be carbon neutral as a company by 2040, and we want to be carbon neutral by 2030. to require net zero emissions. And it’s not what we can do, it’s what climate scientists are telling us we need to do as companies.
“We know there is no place for it. [internal combustion engine vehicles] Large scale after 2030. In this scenario, it simply cannot be calculated to work,” said Klarén.
Pollster, being a young, dynamic company that has developed hybrid and now exclusively electric vehicles, has the luxury of being able to go its own way.
“Manufacturers are locked into their business plans and I understand that,” Frederica sympathizes. But the point is that the time frame is wrong. It is not associated with climate science..
“So we need to eliminate those business plans and create new ones and, again, make sure that all the money we’re investing in just acquiring and making legacy technology more efficient, and all the incentives that ICEs are supporting cars and the fossil industry is being pushed into clean technology and electric vehicles, so we can start scaling faster so we can create a closed loop for minerals and metals.”
What is the difference in the pollster’s approach?
Frederica outlined a specific way in which Pollster is approaching sustainability differently. “Once we delivered Polestar 2, we decided ‘OK, so now we need a CO2 reduction program for Polestar 2’.
“We went about it the way industry typically does cost-cutting programs, but we did it with CO2.”
The Polestar 2 was also the first EV to go on sale with the Cobalt, which has its battery tracked using blockchain, meaning it’s as durable as Polestar can possibly guarantee.
“One thing we’re really struggling with is the lack of data from supply chains, and the locked-in ambiguity of automotive supply chains. [in general]. We really need to come together and set the same requirements on suppliers. And that’s why we’re advocating for collective action in the industry.
“I hate the word collaboration… you can talk a lot about collaboration and not do anything… Collective action is what we want to do where we have measurable goals. For example, We want to deliver a completely carbon neutral car by 2030”, said Frederica.
Making cars in China – the most polluting country
Polystar currently manufactures vehicles at its production center in Chengdu, China, which opened in 2019. On the surface, polyester’s sustainability credentials are at odds with making cars in the world’s most polluting country. Year-on-year, China accounts for about a third of global CO2 emissions – nearly double that of the US.
However, China’s large population meant it was ranked 48th. Emissions per capita in 2019 behind the US (14th) and Germany (38th). Despite a slight reduction in emissions in 2021the country continues to build coal power plants and has committed to carbon neutrality only by 2060.
In our conversation, Frederica was keen to point out China’s conflicting approach to energy production, and how it could benefit from taking advantage. Some regions rely heavily on dirty coal power plants, but wind, biomass, geothermal, solar and hydropower also contribute to energy. It’s all about transparency for the pollster.
“What we’re finding, for example, in China is that we can shift parts of the production to regions that have a higher share. [hydro-electric] Power, and it really looks great.
“That’s what we did with the latest update for the Polestar 2, where we were able to source the aluminum and battery trays from regions where they have them. [hydro-electric] power, that means we save more than a ton of CO2 in production emissions,” said Frederica.
Pollster doesn’t want performance alone
Why not ditch high performance altogether, and just make efficient cars? “That would be too easy”, Frederica joked. “But it’s crucial that we keep sustainable solutions short, or boring, because it’s not working.“
Frederica Polestar sees the freedom to innovate not as a privilege to be forfeited, but as a responsibility to advance new technologies, methods and material choices.
“[Polestar is] A premium company, that’s the foundation of what we do. So we want to work in an industry where there are all kinds of alternatives for consumers. And we’re seeing that happening.” Klarén cited new Chinese rivals such as Volkswagen, Renault and BYD and MG/Saic Motor as players in the mass market space.
“We really feel like we can fully immerse ourselves in what it means to be a premium company in this industry. And that means we can find really innovative, avant-garde solutions… We must not forget that living on the planet should be a thrill. And this can be a major driver for sustainable development.“