EV companies call out other manufacturers for lack of climate action

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In the first public report of its kind by the two EV competitors, the manufacturers created a new report focusing on climate change. The “Pathway Report” concluded that the automotive industry is set to overshoot the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5-degree pathway by at least 75 percent by 2050.

Passenger vehicles currently account for 15 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, which prompted the two pioneering EV makers to initiate the report.

The IPCC has stated that all GHG emissions need to be reduced by 43 percent by 2030 and the report makes clear that the automotive industry is far off track.

Alarmingly, the industry will have spent its full CO2 budget already by 2035 without urgent action.

Despite the gloomy outlook, the report suggests that the car industry still has a chance to get on track. 

By redirecting resources and focus, the industry can rapidly build the momentum required to remain in line with the Paris Agreement. 

The Pathway Report focuses on the current decade and outlines immediate, clear actions that car manufacturers can take between now and 2030, including some that can be triggered immediately.

Fredrika Klarén, Polestar Head of Sustainability, said: “Car companies may be on different paths when it comes to brand, design, and business strategies, and some won’t even admit that the road to the future is electric.

“I believe it is, and that the climate crisis is a shared responsibility, and we must look beyond tailpipe emissions. This report makes clear the importance of acting now and together. 

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“There’s a clear cost to inaction, but there’s also a financial opportunity for innovators who find new answers to the challenges we face.”

The data presents a pathway based on three key levers. Lever one looks at the speed at which fossil fuel-powered cars need to be replaced by electric cars but points out that this alone will not be enough.

Lever two and three will require a lot more work, including increasing renewable energy in power grids and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing supply chain.

Pulling just one or two levers in isolation will be insufficient and only reduce the overshoot, as collective action from automakers is needed on all three levers, in parallel, at a global level. 

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Firstly, the industry must accelerate the transition to electric vehicles by investing in manufacturing capabilities, as well as implementing a firm end date for fossil fuel car sales globally. 

It must then build out renewable energy supply to global grids that enable EVs to reach their full potential through green charging.

The manufacturing supply chains for these vehicles should then be decarbonised by switching to low-carbon materials, and investing in renewable energy solutions for supply chains.

Anisa Costa, Rivian’s Chief Sustainability Officer, adds: “The report’s findings are sobering. 

“Our hope is that this report lays the groundwork for the automotive industry to collaborate in driving progress at the pace and scale we need – and ideally inspiring other industries to do the same. Together, I’m confident we can win the race against time.”

The Pathway Report has been shared with other manufacturers with more talks planned over the coming months.

It also shows the cost of inaction and the strong case for sustainable development, calling for further investment.

The aim is to find a path towards unprecedented, relevant and collective climate action for the car industry, following talks in January.

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