Automotive

Published on October 19th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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The longest pure electric range of any hybrid in the world

Polestar’s first car, the USD155,000 Polestar 1 hybrid, debuted in China in 2017 and has slowly been making the rounds, first in Europe at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and later in North America at Pebble Beach. It has three electric motors and one combustion engine that get the equivalent of 600 horsepower and what the company claims will be “the longest pure electric range of any hybrid in the world.” Production will start in mid-2019 at the new Polestar Production Center in Chengdu, China. (Corporate headquarters for Polestar is located in Gothenburg, Sweden.) Polestar will reportedly make 500 of the vehicles worldwide; all 200 of the first-year models designed for North America have been sold.

The limited availability and higher price of the car are by design.  “Polestar 1 will not be the core of our business, though it certainly sets the tone for the peak of the technology we will offer,” Ingenlath said. “It is a brand building and an inspirational project. It’s a shining star.”

Polestar 2, the company’s first full-battery electric vehicle, will debut in the first quarter of 2019. It is a lower-cost sedan Polestar started developing three years ago in order to compete against the Tesla Model 3. The fact that Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have all introduced pure-electric vehicles in the past six months only confirms what the brand started to develop years ago, Ingenlath said.

“If you ask me about monitoring what the competition is doing, it’s actually exactly what we need,” he said.

Ingenlath said allocations of the Polestar 2 between China, Europe and the United States are still “flexible” to just how many orders are placed in each region. Time will tell.

“A lot of competition is going to happen in that electric market for the ones starting around $75,000 and those crossing the $100,000 border, so I think we will offer something which is pretty good in competition to these cars but actually at a price that somehow makes it more attractive,” he said. “That is a good space to be in.”

After the Polestar 2 debut, the company will introduce the Polestar 3, a small electric SUV, as soon as possible in the years following. Ingenlath said it’ll hit just as the EV mentality takes over, even despite detractors who say clean diesel or other alternative fuels may be more eco-friendly.

“With electric vehicles, what seemed to be normal for decades for now is so out, so out of fashion,” he said.


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