Most everyday products, from furniture to toothbrushes, come with a carbon footprint from their manufacturing processes. Once in the hands of consumers and being used for intended purposes, they become static, non-emitting items until they reach the end of their lifespans and need to be recycled or scrapped.
The same thing could be the case for electric vehicles (EVs) since they come with the potential of a climate-neutral use phase but only if they are charged with renewable energy.
Electric vehicles, like any other product, come with a carbon footprint from production. Polestar is constantly working to reduce this for its products. This reduction is key, but the use case must also be considered. If charged with renewable energy, there should be no additional carbon emissions when using the car.
To emphasise the importance of providing green energy on national grids and to show how design can accelerate the energy transition and increase transparency from charging providers, Polestar has turned to Marjan van Aubel.
The Dutch creator is designing for a climate-neutral future by combining the fields of sustainability, design and technology to ultimately accelerate the global energy transition.
This initiative follows an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam earlier in 2021, where Polestar commissioned eco-artist Thijs Biersteker to turn its Life Cycle Assessment into a piece of art.
The result was an interactive installation named “We Harvest Wind” that encouraged people to think about the climate crisis, which is one of greatest challenges of our time, along with pollution and the transition to renewable energy through art.
Marjan van Aubel, solar designer, said: “There still needs to be significant integration. Solar energy only accounts for a small percentage of the electricity in the European grid, and just 34 percent of the energy we use comes from renewable resources.
“But together, we’re expanding the possibilities of generating energy from wind, water and solar sources. Designers are coming up with completely new ideas, too. They are proof that we are well on our way to creating a fully renewable energy grid and truly sustainable electric mobility.”
Polestar’s Life Cycle Assessment demonstrates that drivers of electric vehicles can halve the lifetime carbon footprint of their cars by charging with renewable energy compared to a petrol car which continues to pollute during its use phase. This makes EVs a scalable climate solution.
Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, said: “The electric vehicle market is growing rapidly, and so is its need for power. The outcomes of COP26 are not enough; we need to accelerate the shift and bend the curve this decade already.
“EVs are an existing, scalable climate solution. To unleash their full potential, governments must help provide green energy to the grid.”