Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of electric car company Polestar, believes the car industry is doing too little, too slowly

As the COP26 conference prepares for transport day, Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, is calling for an accelerated shift to climate neutral mobility and increased transparency from the car industry to meet climate ambitions.

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, said: “Car companies are still talking about selling petrol and diesel cars until 2040. Considering the lifetime of a car, they will still be driving and polluting the second half of this century. They are delaying one of the most powerful climate protection solutions available to us.”

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This statement comes as large parts of the automotive industry seem to be switching to electric vehicles as slowly as they can. Many car companies continue to invest in developing new petrol and diesel powertrains.

Thomas Ingenlath believes that without more ambitious phase-out plans these vehicles will still be on the roads in 2050 and beyond. He also thinks we should instead be using the huge related development funds to push innovation that leads to climate-neutral mobility.

Thomas Ingenlath understands the complexity of the challenge for traditional carmakers, as well as the costs involved. He welcomes moves by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to develop electric cars but fundamentally disagrees with their decisions to develop new generations of petrol and diesel engines.

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, continued: “This is not the time for incremental change but radical change. Building and selling electric cars isn’t the endpoint, it is the beginning.

“We will need at least as much attention on creating a clean supply chain and ultimately recycling. An electric car is a good start, and a pathway to true climate neutral mobility, but, clean means clean from start to finish. Polestar is not perfect but we are working at being better.”

Polestar publishes full details of the CO2e footprint of its cars and has introduced an industry-unique Product Sustainability Declaration, making it easy and intuitive for consumers to consider the climate impact of different Polestar vehicles, along with price and range.

The company also uses blockchain technology for supply chain transparency, with an ambitious scope that aims to track all risky materials including nickel, manganese, graphite and lithium, in addition to the cobalt that is traced today.

In addition, Polestar has announced an industry-leading goal to create a truly climate neutral car by 2030, without relying on carbon offsetting.

Polestar believes that climate action takes ambition but also accountability. At this crucial conference, Polestar will be taking notes, quite literally set in stone. Climate goals from car manufacturers at COP26 will be etched into a granite cube, creating a historical document for future generations to judge whether the industry did enough.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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