Industry standard

Polestar: Recycling is not our responsibility, calls for industry standard

The CEO of Volvo-backed electric car brand Polestar has called for an industry standard to measure carbon emissions from car manufacturing.

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath has said automakers should not be solely responsible for recycling vehicles and their components – despite company executives saying the world is in a “rampant climate crisis”.

In April last year, Polestar pledged to develop a climate-neutral car backed by a net-zero manufacturing process by 2030. And not just by offsetting emissions by planting trees. The ambitious proposal also applied to parts suppliers and shipping companies.

Now the company has admitted it needs help from regulators to get to net zero.

Polestar sustainability expert Fredrika Klaren acknowledged that net zero emissions – from factory to the end of a vehicle’s life – remains a very ambitious goal for now.

“We don’t know how to reach it. It really is a Moonshot lens. [But] Hopefully we get there,” Klaren told media during a preview of the Polestar 3 SUV in Europe last week, ahead of arrivals in Australian showrooms in early 2024.

Klaren said one of the most important steps toward net zero is getting other automakers to share the same goal.

“We know a lot of (automakers) are doing amazing things, and there’s a lot of sustainability work going on across all automakers,” Klaren said.

“But we are in a very traditional system, so it is very difficult for us to talk to each other and collaborate. For a very good reason: that it has been heavily regulated in the automotive industry.

“Now, in this new era, we have to do like other industries such as fashion and collaborate to meet the huge challenge that we share. Frankly, we have to get through this [traditional mindset]. We invite others to participate in this project.

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath acknowledged the importance of recycling, the executive refrained from saying it was the carmakers’ responsibility.

“The recycling business itself, no, we don’t have to get into it,” Ingenlath said.

“Our job is to design and engineer the cars (to)…enable recycling that retains the value of the materials. Our work starts much earlier to enable the recycling industry.”

Ingenlath has called for an industry standard to measure the carbon emissions of vehicles from different manufacturers, so consumers and watchdogs can compare pollution emissions between auto giants.

“We’re actually looking for, we’d like to have, a standardized industry standard on how to assess a car’s carbon footprint,” Ingenlath said. does any industry actually agree on a sensible way to do it? »

“And there has been very little feedback and very little initiative to jointly achieve a standard. It’s a bit of frustration on our side. Time is running out, at some point we will miss a lot of things that we have not found the right moment to agree on a standard on how to calculate the CO2 footprint.

Glenn Butler

Glenn Butler is one of Australia’s best-known motoring journalists. He has spent the past 25 years reporting on cars on radio, television, the web and in print. He is a former editor of Wheels, Australia’s most respected motoring magazine, and was associate editor of before that. Glenn has also worked at an executive level for two of Australia’s most prominent car manufacturers, so he understands the care and consideration that goes into designing and developing new cars. As a journalist, he’s driven everything from Ferraris to Fiats on every continent except Antarctica (which he hopes to one day reach) and enjoys discovering each car’s unique personality and strengths. Glenn knows that the price of a car is not indicative of its competence, and even the cheapest car can improve your life and broaden your horizons.

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