Polestar made a big deal about its next electric vehicle, the Polestar 2, being a ‘Tesla Model 3 competitor’, but those plans are apparently becoming increasingly weaker as we learn more about them.
Now, the CEO even admits that Polestar 2 will ‘not be a Tesla Model 3 killer’ as he confirmed the price and pushed production to 2020.
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The car turned out to be a highly expensive plug-in hybrid, which the automaker quickly made sound outdated by announcing that they would bring an all-electric “Tesla Model 3 competitor” to production a year later.
The automaker mentioned Tesla’s Model 3 by name in its press release, which is rare in the auto industry. They made it clear that they wanted to go after the vehicle.
But we reported last month that Polestar’s plans to compete with the Model 3 were less ambitious than we thought since they only plan to reach production of 50,000 units by 2023 between their 3 models.
Now, CEO Thomas Ingenlath is again lowering expectations in an interview with Auto Express. He confirmed that it will start at around €40,000 (~$49,300) and he pushed production to 2020.
“We are not saying it’s a Tesla killer, we are here to vividly compete with them in the market. We will launch Polestar 2 in the second half of 2019 and production will begin around the start of 2020”.
When unveiling Polestar 1, the company said that “Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019.”
I feel like we have been played. They got a ton of publicity by claiming that the Polestar 2 would compete with the Model 3, which would be a welcome entry in the segment and push electrification further, but now a few months and comments later, it sounds nothing like a Model 3 competitor.
Fair enough, Tesla is currently selling the Model 3 starting at $49,000, but the plan is still for the vehicle to start at $35,000 with standard options launching later this year.
Assuming they achieve that, the Polestar 2 will be 40% more expensive than the Model 3 and it will be a low volume vehicle.
Polestar plans to work around the price tag with a subscription service – something similar to what its sister company Geely’s Lynk & Co is working on.
But it’s still unclear how it could be competitive with such a big price difference to start with.
In my opinion, if Polestar wants the vehicle to be successful, they should quickly stop comparing it to the Model 3 and give it an identity of its own.