Update: ‘Polestar calls for collaboration for the Project 0’ section updated with Global Fashion Summit details.
While most carmakers are rolling out EVs across segments and offsetting production-linked carbon emissions with CSR initiatives, Polestar is gearing up to develop the Polestar 0 Project. The new Polestar EV, slated to be ready by 2030, will be 100% climate-neutral, producing zero emissions throughout its supply chain, production, and logistics stages.
Polestar 0 Project is a fully climate neutral car set to arrive by 2030. There will be no off-setting. From the very first cradle at the mining, to the date where we hand over the keys to the owner, with all logistics and the life cycle process, all included, with no added greenhouse gases to this fantastic sky we have, that’s the Polestar 0 Project.Hans Pehrson, Head of Research and Development at Polestar explains the Polestar 0 in a video (via YouTube)
Polestar calls for collaboration for the Project 0
Polestar believes, and climate activists have warned that offsetting carbon emissions is not sustainable in the long run. With raging wildfires in forests and a change of climate pattern, offsetting carbon emissions is not the solution for carbon-neutral mobility. Hence, Polestar’s farsightedness seems commendable as the Swedish brand plans to experiment with technologies with open calls for collaboration for the Polestar 0 Project.
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath quoted about traditional manufacturing processes in a press release in April 2021 that “we will have to question everything.” He added that the brand is pushing itself to create a completely climate-neutral car. Moreover, Polestar’s Head of Sustainability, Fredrika Klarén, said that “we will now work to eradicate all emissions stemming from production.” The innovation for the Polestar 0 Project could be a breakthrough in the global sustainable mobility movement.
Polestar at the 2022 Global Fashion Summit
At the 2022 Global Fashion Summit that was held in Copenhagen on June 7 and 8, Polestar was the only automotive partner. The brand was involved in the event to find new collaborators to join the Polestar 0 project. Textiles is an area spearheaded by the fashion industry—one of the major CO2 emitters. Many players in the fashion industry are gearing towards producing sustainable textiles. Polestar can benefit from the same by collaborating with textile brands to develop interior trims and seats made from sustainably-sourced materials.
Identifying carbon emitters
Hans Pehrson, head of research and development at Polestar, will spearhead the Polestar 0 Project. The project has been split into three stages. Stage one addresses research and targets CO2 emitting contributors with no technological solution. Experts will dig deep into the production process, down to the smallest nuts and bolts, to identify sources of CO2, right from material extraction to vehicle delivery.
Remember, cars have thousands of components. Hence, there will be extensive data collection and analysis of which areas need to be addressed for net carbon neutrality. Certain areas might find solutions easily, while others might be more challenging. Polestar 0 Project partners will research areas that need alternative sustainable solutions, for which Polestar will partner with suppliers, investors, researchers, and consumers, among others. “This is not a solo mission,” says Hans Pehrson.
Polestar Project 0 Partners
Companies across the global automotive supply chain have teamed up with the Swedish brand for the Polestar 0 Project. They resonate with the brand’s vision. On February 23, 2022, Polestar stated that Letters of Intent have been signed with select strategic partners for various components: metals, safety, electronics, and driver assistance systems. The partners will help with the Life Cycle Assessment of its current EVs’ carbon emissions.
Nordic steel & SSAB
The brand is starting by collaborating with Nordic steel and SSAB to explore the potential of fossil-free steel, which can one day replace traditional steel usage in a car’s components. Norwegian renewable energy company Hydro is the partner for zero-carbon aluminum, while ZF will explore how CO2 can be eliminated from electric powertrain systems. Safety expert Autoliv has agreed to delve into zero-emissions safety equipment for Polestar, entailing the development of green seatbelts and airbags.
ZKW & UNSDSN
EVs also comprise extensive wiring harnesses and electrical control systems, which aren’t manufactured sustainably. Wieselburg-based lighting manufacturer ZKW has taken charge of this area. Moreover, Polestar is also inviting relevant entities for potential collaboration. The brand is reaching out to researchers worldwide with United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) for more innovation in the field. UNSDSN supports green development following the Paris Agreement.
ZKW will also develop electronic and electrical components for Polestar. The company aims to be CO2 neutral worldwide by 2025 and has already mastered a few sustainable production methods. It seeks to replace the harmful components in modern headlamps with bio-based or recycled materials. Its internal analysis shows that climate-neutral headlights can be built using CO2-neutral electronic components in printed circuit boards.
ZKW’s alternative manufacturing concepts include reusing repaired headlights. Oliver Schubert, CEO of ZKW Group, states that alternatives must be found where emissions cannot be avoided. He presented an example of a connector housing that can be made using biogenic raw materials or dispensed with direct plug connections or printed-edge connectors. The company’s goal after CO2 neutral production in 2025 is to make all its products carbon neutral by 2038.
AMCG soliciting partners
According to the Australian website Ferret’s March 8, 2022 report, Polestar and Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMCG) are calling out to relevant Australian entities for collaboration. Polestar wishes to work with these partners to reimagine manufacturing by wider decarbonization of processes. Polestar has links with the STEDI, an automotive lighting manufacturer that provided LEDs for the Polestar 2 ‘Arctic Circle’ special version.
Polestar soundscape collaboration
On March 8, 2022, Polestar announced its association with Lisa Nordstrom, a Swedish music composer and artist, to develop unique sounds for Polestar sales outlets. The nine-hour audio is split up into four tracks; morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening. The files are available across 50 different streaming platforms and buyers can search and stream it in their Polestar 2 as well. It makes sense that the same features would be included in the appeal of future Polestar models, such as the Polestar 0.
Open call for collaboration
Those who wish to collaborate on the Polestar 0 Project can connect with Polestar by filling out an application on polestar0.teamtailor.com. What’s more, Polestar has introduced a Product Sustainability Declaration. Starting with the Polestar 2, the brand began disclosing carbon footprint labels through its Polestar Space dealerships and its website to make consumers more aware. Ingenlath believes customers must have “the right tools to make informed and ethical decisions.”
Polestar and StoreDot join hands
Polestar is looking at multiple avenues to build its fast charging technology for future EVs. Polestar has invested in Israel-based fast-charging company StoreDot to explore extreme fast charging solutions for future Polestar electric vehicles. StoreDot’s area of expertise is silicon-dominant fast-charging batteries for EVs. By 2024, it aims to produce a system that can charge the battery to deliver nearly 100 miles of range in just five minutes of charging.
Test cases are already underway where Polestar uses StoreDot’s cell technology for faster charging and improved circularity. Ingenlath stated in a recent press release that if the pilot project brings success, the two companies could implement the technology in Polestar electric vehicles from 2026. The technology could go a long way in reducing range anxiety, and customers won’t have to endure long waiting times to recharge their EVs.
If successful, the technology would not only set Polestar apart from other brands but also accelerate EV adoption and acceptance on a larger scale.
Featured Image Source: Polestar