Interview with Polestar the effect & future of technology, global equality & blockchain sourcing.
Updated: Nov 28, 2021
I'm curious to understand blockchain's impact on the auto industry and the critical role it'll play in the future of global equality.
Oscar very good to see you, And very good to see you Johnathan
What would you say is the vision of the polestar company.
At polestar our whole ethos is about how can we be transparent, we see the future of mobility as electric & we want to bring cars that people can afford and a whole new approach to sustainability that enables them to feel good about the car they've bought.
So people know when they buy a polestar 2 they know exactly how many tons of carbon has gone into manufacturing that car.
And what we've said is it's time to come clean, time to let people know.
Yeah, I mean it's funny because you know you don't usually think trust when it comes to people that are selling cars, you know often you see the opportunity for people to get a bit manipulated when it comes to clean energy, or uh green washing as you've heard it you know where people say oh this is it's enough to say well I got an electric car, isn't that enough? isn't that fine? and I think that's a really important thing to actually show how did you get the battery in the first place often it could take a lot of carbon right it can make a footprint
Exactly and that's our whole approach to sustainability, we want to reduce the carbon footprint of the company reduce the carbon footprint in the manufacturing sites that we're building, reduce it in the way in which we build, so to make sure our plants are running on completely renewable energies.
Cobalt is one of the key elements that goes into building a battery, if you think of blockchain really as just a kind of digital ledger for the whole process that we go through to get cobalt out of the ground and into the batteries, then into the car, and one of the big queries and questions that we face as an industry is, how do we make that completely transparent and ensure that it's totally traceable, so that people driving a car can have the confidence that they've bought a vehicle where the cobalt has been ethically mined & has been properly transacted all the way through the process. So what it gives us in very simple terms is total transparency on the whole process so that we can have faith and you as a customer can be confident wow they've done this properly.
Jonathan gave me a good overview of blockchain and transparency but i wanted to dig in a bit deeper about blockchain and and what it means to the pole store brand
Yeah absolutely, so with electrification you obviously address the tailpipe emissions of the car. But having a sustainable product is of course so much more than that, so one of the things that actually increases with electrification is the need to use sensitive raw materials in the product, one of which is cobalt. What we have done is to ensure that we have ethical supply chains by using a blockchain technology to ensure that we actually know exactly where the cobalt that we use comes from, and that it's been sourced and mined responsibly.
With the ability to use blockchain technology you can actually start with a verification process that starts already in the mine, with specific cobalt then being put in specific bags that are sort of signed and sealed with a unique digital code, and then throughout the whole supply chain and the process you can follow that through to a dashboard. Better mining is an organization that we have worked with for a while now and I think the importance of that is to have some organization that's there on the ground working to ensure the different conditions that we have set or being met I mean because.
It's definitely something that you hear often not only with cars but food you know sourced responsibly and it just kind of becomes a vague slogan and it seems like this is a way for real accountability
Yeah absolutely, so what it does is offer us a proof point in terms of ensuring that what we do is responsibly sourced on its own, it's not enough of course. What you also need to do at the same time is to ensure that the mines that we use are extracted in a responsible way so that the OECD guidelines are followed for example
What are some of the challenges? With that i imagine it's quite challenging when there is a problem with what do you do.
Yes of course it's new technology, I mean we're world first basically in testing this technology in the automotive industry, right so of course you know as it matures we will become more and more secure and safe in the process but i think it's a very good start to ensure we have this traceability in place.
As the world transitions to electric vehicles, ethically sourcing the raw materials that run them has to be made a priority that starts with traceability, transparency and accountability powered by blockchain with pole star that change has already begun.