An executive for Volvo’s Polestar candidly admitted that “Tesla is far ahead of everyone else on energy efficiency” and they are going to have to catch up or find other ways to compete.

When Volvo rebranded Polestar two years ago, it was off to a somewhat weird but interesting start as it unveiled its first vehicle, the Polestar 1.

The car turned out to be a highly expensive plug-in hybrid, which quickly sounded outdated when the automaker announced that they would bring an all-electric “Tesla Model 3 competitor” to production a year later.

It’s rare for an automaker to directly and publicly target a specific vehicle from a competitor like that.

However, Polestar doesn’t seem too worried about it as they continue to comment on Tesla.

At a conference in Norway, Ian Collins, director of development at Polestar UK, commented on the California-based automaker (via TU):

“Tesla has been active in developing its own technology, especially with regard to energy efficiency. There they are far ahead of everyone else”

He added:

“It’s an area that we have to continue to work harder to take back Tesla,”

That includes Polestar and its Polestar 2, which is supposed to be their Tesla Model 3 competitor.

The automaker says that the Polestar 2 is equipped with a 78 kWh battery pack that enables 275 miles of range.

Tesla’s Long Range Model 3 has a smaller battery pack with about ~75 kWh of energy capacity and yet it enables a much longer range of 325 miles, according to the EPA estimate.

Also, other recent third-party tests against several other electric vehicles have shown that Tesla dominates electric vehicle efficiency.

Collins says that they are going to compete on other points, like design:

“We have respect for them as a competitor. We will compete for design, what we offer to customers and technological advances. With technological advances, we not only think about the driveline, but also other parts of the car.”

The Polestar executive added:

” I could have pointed out some weaknesses at Tesla that we address in our product. But I won’t.”

The Polestar 2 is set to enter production early next year.

It has a starting price of 39,900 euros ($45,400), but the first version of the vehicle to be made will be a “launch edition” for 59,900 euros ($68,200).

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