Polestar has acknowledged that electric cars are dirtier than internal combustion engines

The production of the electric fastback Polestar 2 and its batteries emits more carbon dioxide than the Volvo XC40, an internal study by the Swedish company found. To equalize the carbon footprint of the two cars, the “couple” must travel at least 50,000 km.

According to Polestar, battery-powered cars are a step towards climate neutrality, but the level of technology is of paramount importance. The study shows that for the production of the crossover with a traditional engine, 14 tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere, while for the Polestar 2 this figure is 24 tons.

During operation, the XC40 adds another 41 tonnes of CO₂ and the “pair” 23 tonnes using mixed power sources and 0.4 tonnes, provided that electricity is only generated by wind turbines.

To leave a weaker carbon footprint than the XC40, Polestar 2 must travel 100,000 km with electricity from the global energy mix or 80,000 km with electricity from Europe’s high-renewable energy production structure (15% by 2018). ). If it is charged only with electricity received only from “wind farms”, the figure drops to 50,000 km.


“Manufacturers are not always honest with customers about the impact of their products on the environment,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingelat, who called for an open dialogue. “We have to call a spade a spade, even if it’s not always pleasant.” The manager proposes that companies adopt a unified methodology for reporting CO₂ emissions and that electric vehicles stop being talked about as a panacea for the environment.

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