Volvo’s electric performance brand has today announced plans to build a competitor to the upcoming Tesla Model 3 with its Polestar 2, and to also take on the electric SUV market with the Polestar 3.
Having unveiled its 2+2 high powered hybrid coupe in the form of the Polestar 1, the sub-brand of the Chinese-owned Swedish company said it will produce full-electric competitors to the Model 3 and X at its newly-built Chinese production facility in Chengdu from 2019.
Although details of the two vehicles will be kept secret until their unveiling in the next 18 months, the Swedish brand named the Tesla Model 3 in its presentation in Shanghai today as the primary competitor to the Polestar 2. It also hinted that it will match the American brand’s range capacity of 400km+ with its own vehicles.
While it appears Tesla is currently building parts of the Model 3 by hand, with reported production delays likely to push back the American company’s mass-scale production schedule by some time, Polestar said it takes no pleasure in issues suffered by other manufacturers.
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Speaking to CarAdvice, Polestar’s chief operating officer, Jonathan Goodman, said Tesla will likely sort its production issues out in time to be competitive – but that Polestar’s biggest advantage in this bold new era of electric mobility is its rich and deep history in producing cars for over 90 years as part of the Volvo group.
“I am not going to comment about any trials and tribulations of our competitors, I am sure they will be fine,” Goodman told CarAdvice about Tesla’s Model 3 production issues.
“But one of the genuine advantages of being a subsidiary of Volvo cars is that you have got 90 years of manufacturing experience and all the technology… people know how to build them, they know what needs to be done and they do what it takes to get cars from great design into production and do it successfully.”
According to Goodman, this deep experience is what will help the brand execute its vision to build its new factory in China (for which production is yet to start) and produce three new electric-powered vehicles by 2021, starting with the low-volume hybrid Polestar 1 in 2019 and the much higher volume Polestar 2 in 2020 and Polestar 3 in 2021.
“I think that’s one of the advantages we have over some of the startup brands is that we know the job that needs to be done to get it built, that’s why we can bring the cars to market quicker than may be some others can.”
Goodman said he was “supremely confident” that Polestar would meet its current targets and have its three new vehicles on sale by 2021.