Within the space of a meagre two years, Polestar have risen from relative obscurity to a promising force in the electric vehicle market, with their ambitions set on dethroning Tesla and providing an innovative and sustainable, yet unique, road to the future. Polestar is a subsidiary brand, jointly owned by Volvo car group and Geely, thus making them a fusion of the Swedish and Chinese automotive brands. The company itself is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, whilst utilising the immense industrial superpower that is China for vehicle production in Chengdu. They are dedicated entirely to electric vehicles and thus far have only produced two models, the Polestar 1 and the Polestar 2, however, the firm announced that production of their concept car the Polestar Precept began on the 26th of September. Despite their fledgling, yet burgeoning status, Polestar is proving to be a real contender in the electric vehicle industry.
CEO Thomas Ingenlath has already stated that there will be some learning curve that may hinder Polestar in their emergence as a dominant power on the electric vehicle market. Nevertheless, Polestar’s first 2 models have exceeded all expectations and received amazing reviews from Car Magazine, Autocar, Top Gear, Carwow, and Evo, which may refute the idea of a learning curve. As a company, they specialise in electric performance vehicles that assume a clearly futuristic aesthetic. Very soon, it seems, they may be a prominent figure in the global transition to e-mobility.
The Polestar 1 was the company’s first dabble in the electric vehicle industry since becoming an independent manufacturer in 2017, in which it is a luxury 2 door sports car driven by a hybrid powertrain featuring a supercharged and turbocharged 2 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine, with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery, and two electric motors. Thus, the Polestar 1 produced a total of approximately 619 horsepower, in which its torque vectoring technologies enabled its 738 pound feet of torque to be transferred and varied between each wheel by the differential, endowing it with 4 wheel drive capabilities. Furthermore, the Polestar 1 has an WLTP electric range of approximately 78 miles, which is acceptable considering production began in 2017, before the exponential growth of electric batteries had been set in motion. However, this amalgamation of opulence and power came with a hefty price tag starting from £139,000 and in a 2 and a half tonne shell.
The Polestar 2 was Polestar’s first attempt at a vehicle entirely dependent on an electric powertrain. It possesses a 78 kWh battery, which produces a total of 300 kW. This equates to roughly 402 mechanical horsepower, whilst providing a range of 292 miles WLTP combined test. Therefore, in terms of power alone, the Polestar 2 is enough to rival even the most powerful edition of the Tesla Model 3. Furthermore, the lithium-ion 78 kWh battery produces 487 pound feet of torque, which, again, via torque vectoring, provides the Polestar 2 with 4 wheel drive capabilities.The Polestar 2 is also one of the first cars to integrate the Android Operating System, enabling the driver to access Google Maps, Spotify, and other features exclusive to Android. This is accompanied by an 11 inch infotainment screen that is perched in the centre of the dashboard. All of this sits at a more reasonable price than the Polestar 1 of £49,845 (without taking into consideration the UK government’s subsidy of £3000 on low-emission vehicles), which, by electric vehicle standards is far from exorbitant but still not accessible to the masses. Nevertheless, this is a profound decrease in price from the Polestar 1, which does suggest that Polestar is anxious to produce more affordable electric vehicles.
Polestar have also demonstrated their emerging independence, by casting off their reliance on Volvo’s design for their vehicles, in which the Polestar 1 and 2 were both based off of Volvo cars, whereas, the Precept (the company’s latest vehicle that has only recently entered production) is a completely new design that culminates in an aesthetic that seemingly derives from the future. Although specifications have not yet been revealed, the Precept’s interior will primarily be constructed from flax and natural fibres, as well as recycled plastic (in this case PET) bottles. Aside from the emphasis on sustainability, the Precept’s headlamps resemble Thor’s hammer divided into two, in which the rear window has been substituted for a camera that projects an image of the environment it sees, in order to provide greater headspace for passengers seated in the rear seats. The air intake grill has also been replaced with a panel that contains primarily sensors, in which this is replicated at the sides of the Precept in order to accommodate autonomous lane transition. As a result, the Precept in both its design and features is truly pioneering in the world of electric vehicles.
And it is this innovation that could easily transform Polestar into a Tesla-rivalling force in electric vehicle production, thus further diversifying the electric vehicle market and making Polestar a decisive architect in the future of the motoring industry.
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