EV manufacturer calls out 'disturbing' lack of transparency in automotive industry, as it touts plan to publish carbon metrics for its full product line
Swedish electric vehicle (EV) company Polestar will from today disclose the carbon footprint of all the vehicles it sells, in a move it claims will establish it as the "most transparent" firm in the automotive industry.
Customers considering purchasing a Polestar EV can now access data on its overall carbon impact - from materials and manufacturing to decommissioning - as well as a headline figure for the car's environmental footprint as it leaves the production line, according to the firm.
The carmaker, which is jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and its Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, has called on its competitors to follow its lead, calling out the automotive industry for a "disturbing" lack of environmental transparency.
"Car manufacturers have not been clear in the past with consumers on the environmental impact of their products," Polestar chief executive Thomas Ingenlath said. "That's not good enough. We need to be honest, even if it makes for uncomfortable reading."
The firm has shared its Life Cycle Assessment methodology on its website in a bid to encourage the industry to establish a standardised approach for calculating the carbon impact of vehicles.
"Fragmentation will only lead to confusion," Fredrika Klarén, head of sustainability at Polestar, added. "Car manufacturers have to come together and be more transparent. What we're saying at Polestar is, as an industry, let's help consumers make the right choice."
Polestar said its new disclosure regime marked a "significant shift" for an industry that had struggled to convince consumers of its sustainability credentials.
Polestar's analysis reveals that its flagship EV - the Polestar 2 - racks up more carbon during manufacturing than Volvo's petrol-powered XC40 SUV model due to energy-intensive battery production process, but swiftly trumps the fossil fuel car's environmental performance once on the road. If charged with green energy, the EV becomes more environmentally efficient after 50,000 kilometres, the analysis shows.
"The message is clear," Ingenlath said. "Electric vehicles offer a route to climate neutrality and we will use the insights from this report to reach that goal."
Polestar's plan to disclose the carbon impact of its vehicles is part of a growing push for environmental labelling on products across multiple sectors, with similar plans recently touted by consumer goods giant Unilever, cosmetics company L'Oreal and technology firm Logitech.
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