The World’s First Completely Carbon-Neutral Car

Polestar wants to remove carbon emissions from its manufacturing as well as its vehicles.

Cars are responsible for a significant percentage of planet-warming carbon emissions, so the deployment of new electric vehicles from most of the world’s major automakers is vital to meeting climate goals.

Those cars, however, aren’t really carbon-neutral: the process of manufacturing them requires energy, often from fossil fuels, and getting to zero carbon requires offsets — typically planting trees or other crops in sufficient quantity to account for factory operations.

By the end of the decade, however, one car company has vowed to get to true carbon neutrality.

Polestar, the electric vehicle affiliate of China’s Geely and Sweden’s Volvo, this week announced the Polestar 0 Project, an initiative to eliminate all emissions in its production processes and supply chain by 2030. By that year, company officials want cars to depart its factory with no carbon footprint whatsoever.

The effort will require renewable energy to power its own operations and those of its suppliers, as well as recycled materials and circular vehicle batteries. The company acknowledged it would be a challenge to meet its target; as an initial step, it vowed to publicly disclose the carbon footprint and trace the materials of its two current models and all future ones.

Polestar’s head of sustainability said that just because the company makes zero-emission cars doesn’t mean its responsibility to the environment is done. The project could also serve as an example beyond automakers — industry, after all, accounts for more global emissions than transportation.

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