Polestar 4 LCA reveals lowest carbon impact of all Polestar vehicles at launch

Polestar has published the first Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for Polestar 4. The LCA reveals that Polestar 4 has the lowest carbon footprint of all Polestar cars to date – as low as 19.4 tonnes of CO2e at launch.

EV Nov 1, 2023

Now what is CO2e and why does it matter I hear you ask? Well, buckle up. CO2e means the number of metric tonnes of CO2 emissions that has the same global warming potential as one metric tonne of another greenhouse gas, and it’s calculated using an equation that I won’t even try to write down here. All you need to know is that Polestar 4’s CO2e is low, and less harmful for the environment.

The new Polestar 4 is produced in Geely Holdings’ SEA factory in Hangzhou Bay, China, which combines green electricity that carries the I-REC hydro power certificate, with photovoltaic (a fancy name for Solar) electricity from the roof of the plant. A higher use of low-carbon aluminium from smelters using hydropower electricity helps reduce the climate impact further. In addition, data regarding the share of recycled aluminium has been included in the assessment for the first time.

Available initially in China, the Polestar 4 Standard-range Single motor comes with a carbon footprint of 19.4 tCO2e. The Long-range Single motor version has a carbon footprint of 19.9 tCO2e, while the Long-range Dual motor has one of 21.4 tCO2e. To break this down further, Aluminium represents 23-24% of the carbon footprint, while steel and iron constitute 20%, and battery modules account for the highest share of the carbon footprint of materials production and refining at 36-40%.

Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at Polestar, says: “To support our net zero goal, we set carbon budgets for all our cars. Throughout the product development of Polestar 4, its carbon budget has influenced everything from material choices to factory energy sources. Sharing the LCA enables us to show that we can strive for net zero – one tonne of CO2e at a time.”

Polestar publishes full details of the carbon footprint of all its models. The Swedish EV-maker believes the car industry should be a driving force in the shift to sustainable mobility, and that transparency is a key enabler.

Polestar’s LCAs, published since 2020, consider a range of factors in a car’s life cycle, from supply to manufacture and recycling, and summarise the climate impact in one easily understood number. This enables consumers to make quick and educated decisions when buying a car. The LCA figures stated in this release disclose the cars’ cradle-to-gate carbon footprint which includes material acquisition through the production of the product and excludes the use and end-of-life stages.

So next time someone smugly asks you how big the carbon footprint of your EV during its manufacture was, you’ll be able to answer them in detail, maybe too much detail…