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EV maker Polestar relies on marine biofuel to reduce supply-chain emissions

Photo: Polestar

Polestar, a Swedish electric-vehicle manufacturer owned by Volvo, announced June 5 that it is taking the next steps in reducing its supply-chain emissions by integrating renewable fuels on its ocean-freight routes, which account for around 75 percent of Polestar’s total transportation emissions.


Polestar is now also operating its vehicle processing center (VPC) in Belgium on 100 percent renewable electricity.


The VPC acts as a finishing and preparation point for vehicles before delivery to European customers, including charging them with renewable electricity.


With Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 production now ramping up, renewable fuel will initially be used for approximately 65 percent of the outbound ocean freight of produced vehicles from Asia to Polestar’s VPC in Zeebrugge, Belgium.


Polestar also plans to integrate renewable fuels on freight from North America during the second half of the year, as production of Polestar 3 expands to South Carolina.


Through the utilization of B30 marine biofuel, which consists of 30 percent fatty acid methyl esters (FAME)—also known as biodiesel—emissions from these shipping routes can be reduced by approximately 20 percent to 25 percent compared with conventional sulfur fuel oils.


Polestar has taken steps to decarbonize intercontinental inbound ocean freight for production materials and spare-parts distribution, which are now running on 100 percent FAME fuel, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 84 percent compared to fossil fuel. 


The FAME fuel is based on renewable sources, including waste cooking oil.


No feedstock related to palm oil or palm-oil production is used.


“This is an important step in Polestar’s goal to reach climate neutrality by 2040,” said Jonas Engström, the head of operations at Polestar.

“Becoming truly climate neutral means eliminating all greenhouse-gas emissions across our operations, and all phases of our cars’ lifecycles, including emissions from the supply chain,” Engström added. “As we enter an accelerating phase of growth with our model lineup and manufacturing footprint expanding, there is an extra emphasis on the need for sustainable logistics solutions.”


Polestar recently published its sustainability report for 2023.


Greenhouse-gas emissions per sold car were reduced by 9 percent during 2023 compared to 2022, illustrating that it is possible to decouple growth from increased emissions.



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