Upstart Polestar will launch its first electric car in Australia in January 2022, a few months later than planned but at an aggressive starting price below $60,000 to match the Tesla Model 3.
Polestar is a four-year old Volvo Cars and Geely Holding joint-venture “electric performance car brand” poised to go public on the NASDAQ with a $27.5 billion valuation. It’s on sale in much of Europe, the U.S, and China already.
It intends to further shake up the landscape with direct-to-consumer online sales supported by physical stores and test-drive centres in “cities around Australia”, and furthermore intends to tap into Volvo’s dealers for servicing needs.
A simple three-variant line-up starts with the $59,900 Standard Range model with 64kWh battery, $64,900 for the Long Range with 78kWh battery, and $69,900 for the Long Range with two drive motors.
All of these prices are MSRP before on-road costs, but also before the EV rebates available in NSW and Victoria – both single-motor variants fall within the price threshold for them – and stamp duty reductions or waivers.
All come with free servicing and roadside assist for five years. As with Tesla, new features and system upgrades can and will be deployed via over-the-air updates.
The pricing lines up neatly against two fellow ground-up EVs: the Tesla Model 3 is priced from $59,900 (standard range) and $73,400 (long range) while the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is $71,900 with cheaper, shorter-range variants coming soon.
Predictably Polestar’s prices also mean options: a $5000 Pilot Pack with extra driver-assistance (this can’t be downloaded and must be purchased with the car), a $6000 Plus Pack with added luxuries, and an $8000 Performance Pack with sportier hardware.
Some cool features include vegan upholstery and an Android Automotive OS-powered infotainment system with Google built-in.
The head of Polestar Australia said this week that given signs of exponential growth in EVs – as reflected in these figures – there was an exciting opportunity for the Sweden-based brand to break into the market.
“We are delighted to be able to offer Australian customers such a compelling ownership proposition with our first foray into the Australian market…our aim is to offer a premium, all-electric solution at an attainable level for a great proportion of Australian motorists,” she said.
“We know that consumers in our market are very receptive to new technology and have a desire for a high-quality product with superb attention to detail and an engaging drive.
“We are confident that the Polestar brand experience will hit the right note with Australian EV enthusiasts, and we anticipate that the Polestar 2 with its compelling ownership proposition will attract many more Australians to all-electric mobility.”
Beyond the Polestar 2, the company is preparing the Polestar 3 SUV, Polestar 4 crossover, and Polestar 5 grand tourer by 2024.
Like the Model 3, Australian examples of the Polestar 2 will be produced in China.
Not all Polestar models will be built in China, however, with the upcoming Polestar 3 set to roll down the production line at Volvo’s US factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina.
Nevertheless the Swedish connection is strong. HQ is in Gothenburg, and global CEO is former Volvo Cars design chief Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar Australia’s managing director Samantha Johnson was a director at Volvo Australia.
In 2020 the company sold 10,000 cars across the world. It’s planning to sell roughly 290,000 per year by 2025. Quite a scale-up…
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