Polestar 3 LCA LI

Ricardo has critically reviewed Polestar's life cycle assessment of its Polestar 3 electric vehicle

26 Mar 2024


Electric car maker Polestar’s life cycle assessment (LCA) report for Polestar 3, which was conducted in accordance with ISO 14067:2018, was reviewed by Ricardo corporate sustainability and LCA experts: the first Polestar report that has been reviewed by a third party.

The LCA report offers comprehensive transparency about the environmental impact of the car. The LCA report shows that material production and refining contribute 68% of its cradle-to-gate carbon footprint of which aluminium represents 24%, iron and steel 17% and battery module production 24%. The LCA has been calculated using three different electricity mixes and a 200,000 km lifetime distance driven. The methodology to assess the electricity in use phase has been updated and now includes more realistic scenarios from the IEA (International Energy Agency) which take into account increased shares of renewables, underscoring their potential for reducing the car’s emissions during the use phase. For the first time in any Polestar LCA, vehicle maintenance is included in the calculations. The car’s cradle-to-grave carbon footprint ranges between 28.5 - 44.5 tCO2e depending on the electricity used to charge the vehicle during its lifetime.

The approach to meeting the ambitious cradle-to-gate target for Polestar 3 took learnings from the carbon footprint reductions of Polestar 2. Consequently, 81% of Polestar 3’s total aluminium mass production, the Li-ion battery cell module production as well as anode and cathode material production use 100% renewable electricity. By doing this, 8.5 tCO2e have been eliminated.

Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at Polestar said: "SUVs are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so it's important that electric alternatives are available to customers. There is still a lot of work ahead to get where we want to be, but we're happy we've been able to take action to reduce Polestar 3's carbon footprint, focusing on renewable energy for aluminium and battery production. Polestar 3 also marks the first time a third party has reviewed our LCA report, which we feel further strengthens the validity of both the results and methodology used.”

Sam Hinton, Head of LCA at Ricardo, said: “Ricardo is world-renowned for our expertise in life cycle assessment. Our seminal life cycle assessment for the European Commission, DG Climate Action: Determining the environmental impacts of conventionally and alternatively fuelled vehicles through LCA  is still the most comprehensive study of its kind, and we are currently leading another EC-backed project to determine the definitive European standard for life cycle assessment for zero emission vehicles and batteries. We are proud that our client, Polestar, trusted us to support their commitment to helping their customers make informed decisions when choosing their next electric vehicle, by gaining our expertise in critical review and independent assurance of their LCA.”

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