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Polestar 3 slashes emissions footprint

Cradle-to-gate carbon footprint of Polestar’s first SUV lower than smaller Polestar 2’s

26 Mar 2024

POLESTAR has released verified sustainability data related to the production of its incoming Polestar 3 SUV that proves the model offers a lower cradle-to-gate carbon footprint than the smaller Polestar 2 sedan when it was launched in 2020.


At 24.7tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) versus 26.1tCO2e, Polestar says the numbers prove that “even for large SUVs action can be taken to reduce climate impact”.


The Swedish/Chinese car maker says the majority of greenhouse gas emissions produced in the manufacture of the Polestar 3 (and indeed all vehicles) stem from the extraction and processing of various materials, particularly aluminium, steel, and those elements used in the construction of high voltage batteries.


The Lifecycle Assessment report for the Polestar 3 shows that material production and refining contribute to 68 per cent of the vehicle’s carbon-to-gate footprint, of which aluminium represents 24 per cent, steel 17 per cent, and battery module production 24 per cent.


“Our work at Polestar aims to implement existing solutions, advocate for emerging solutions, and actively address what is currently considered unsolvable,” it said in a statement.


“Existing solutions may involve purchasing aluminium produced using renewable electricity, emerging solutions could include steel made with renewable energy, and entirely new solutions may relate to electronics, tyres, and thermoplastics.”


Polestar says its approach to meeting ambitious cradle-to-gate targets for the Polestar 3 came from learnings made during production of the Polestar 2.


Consequently, 81 per cent of the Polestar 3’s total aluminium mass production, the lithium-ion battery module production, as well as the anode and cathode material used in the battery cell, was made using 100 per cent renewable electricity.


By doing this, 8.5 tCO2e has been eliminated.


Initially, the Polestar 3 is being manufactured at Volvo Cars’ Chengdu facility in China, with additional production to begin in South Carolina USA from the middle of 2024. Both manufacturing plants use 100 per cent renewable electricity.


“The majority of a vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions stem from extracting and processing materials,” explained Polestar head of sustainability Fredrika Klaren.


“As we accelerate the adoption of electric cars, there is a lot we can do to reduce their production-related emissions and strengthen the role of innovations and of electric cars as a climate solution.


“The Polestar 3 is a testament to that.”


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