Smart Transport

COP26: Polestar calls out car industry on slow progress to decarbonisation

Electric car manufacturer Polestar has called for “radical change” in the car industry to accelerate decarbonisation.

Six major vehicle manufacturers have signed the ‘COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans’, which commits to phase out fossil fuel vehicles between 2035 and 2040, but some have not signed the declaration.

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar chief executive, 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.”

Ingenlath added that “large parts of the automotive industry seem to be switching to electric vehicles as slowly as they can”.

Ingenlath acknowledges the complexity of the challenge for traditional car makers, as well as the costs involved. He also welcomes moves by OEMs to develop electric cars.

However, he fundamentally disagrees with their decisions to develop new generations of petrol and diesel engines.

He said: “This is not the time for incremental change, but radical change.

“Can you imagine describing this to a child today: 30 years from now, cars will still produce toxic gases, making the air harsher to breathe?

“Building and selling electric cars isn’t the end point, 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 has positioned itself in the industry as a company that invites closer scrutiny of the emissions associated with car manufacturing and publishes the full details of the CO2e footprint of its cars.

It has introduced a Product Sustainability Declaration, making it easier 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 risk materials including nickel, manganese, graphite and lithium, in addition to the cobalt that is traced today.

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

Smart Transport National Conference 2023

The UK’s largest two-day conference for senior private and public sector transport leaders and policymakers to work together to transform the UK’s transport network and achieve net zero will take place on 21 & 22 November 2023, The Eastside Rooms, Birmingham.

The high-level conference will bring together senior transport leaders who help shape transport policy and deliver its infrastructure.

It aims to promote best in class initiatives from the private and public sector and bring people together through networking, knowledge transfer and discussion and is seen as UK's largest, trusted and most credible transport conference to facilitate public and private sector collaboration.

The agenda will deliver a speaker faculty of 80+ expert speakers, including senior transport politicians, from the UK and beyond. And we expect an audience of 300+ delegates to attend. 

Speakers come from authorities and organisations such as: The Department for Transport, England’s Economic Heartland, Birmingham City Council, Transport for West Midlands, Midlands Connect, TIER Mobility, CoMoUK, Lambeth Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Enterprise Holdings, FedEx, Worldline and Cornwall Council.

Find out more and book tickets

November 2022 conference video highlights

Book your one or two-day ticket now!

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

Related content

Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Register to receive our digital content / products and service / information about our events.
  • Register now.
  • Conference


Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Ernest Olaseinde for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo


Smart Transport members

Smart Transport board members


Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.