Polestar, Volvo’s performance brand recently relaunched as an all-electric brand, was off to a somewhat awkward but interesting start last year when it unveiled its first vehicle; the Polestar 1.
The car turned out to be a highly expensive plug-in hybrid, which the automaker quickly made sound outdated by announcing that they would bring an all-electric “Tesla Model 3 competitor” to production a year later.
In a new interview, the automaker’s CEO elaborates on those plans.
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Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s Chief Designer, was appointed CEO of Polestar last year.
In an interview with Autocar last week, he described the Polestar 1 as a ‘halo product’:
“Polestar 1 is very much a halo product. We’re going to need those for the future, just as we’ll need lower-priced models to bring flair and feeling to a much broader audience.”
He confirmed that those lower-priced models, the Polestar 2, which the company described as a “Tesla Model 3 competitor”, and the Polestar 3, an all-electric SUV, are almost completed.
The design chief says that the vehicles “won’t share the profile of existing Volvo models but will use Volvo interior designs.” For the past few years, the automaker had been showing designs of two concepts, a sedan and a SUV, reportedly tipped to be all-electric:
Ingenlath also clarified Polestar’s expected production volume. The CEO announced that they are aiming for “around 50,000-plus units” by 2023 between their 3 models.
As previously stated, Polestar’s launch was a bit strange. They unveiled a plug-in hybrid as their first vehicle and announced at the same time that all their future vehicles will be all-electric.
Furthermore, Polestar mentioned Tesla’s Model 3 by name in its press release, which is rare in the auto industry. They made it clear that they want to go after the vehicle.
But one of the most important things about the Model 3 is the fact that it aims to be the first mass-market long-range EV produced in large volumes. Tesla is aiming for a production rate of 500,000 cars per year by the end of the year.
It’s disappointing that Volvo is only aiming for a tenth of that and only 5 years from now.
While I’m still excited to see what they have in mind as a “Model 3 competitor”, especially since it will apparently have Volvo’s awesome interior, I’d wish they would be a little more ambitious with their EV plans.