Alongside its unveiling of the Polestar 1, its change in manufacturing locations to China and the announcement of upcoming Polestar 2 and 3 models, Volvo’s soon to be electric sub-brand also revealed details of a subscription model the company says is the future of automobile ownership.
The Polestar subscription service will see users pay no upfront deposit and have their entire ownership costs covered in flat monthly payments, including insurance, maintenance and an array of other services.
Speaking to the media at the unveiling of Polestar’s future plans in Shanghai today, the company’s chief operating officer, Jonathan Goodman, said the subscription model is the perfect way to alleviate any potential buyer concerns around depreciation of electric cars, which are yet to be proven on the market.
Goodman said: “I think that people are a little uncertain with an electric car, as to ‘do I want to buy it and then be uncertain, what I am going to sell it for in three or four years?’”
“If I am buying it for ten years, I don’t worry about it, but I think subscription is a way of doing that, it takes away any angst around people that really like the acceleration and performance of the electric car [but not the uncertainty of resale].”
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The subscription terms will be either two or three years, with vehicles then coming back into the Polestar fleet, being refurbished and going back out again on secondary subscription services.
As part of the service, Polestar will also offer pick-up and delivery servicing that sees the brand bring an alternative car to owners and take away their Polestar vehicle for regular maintenance.
Goodwin says the brand is also conscious of realistic buyer needs, which is why it has included a set number of days where other Polestar or Volvo vehicles can be had at no extra cost. For example, a Polestar 1 owner may need more than the vehicle’s 2+2 seat configuration for a weekend away, so they could use the brand’s smartphone app to request a larger XC90 SUV for the task at hand.
Other options are also available, such as using the app to call for a Polestar technician to come and fit a roof box for extra storage for items such as skiing equipment.
The app also allows for what is effectively a digital key, allowing owners to pass the vehicle’s key to Polestar technicians and other third-party agents when required without being nowhere near the vehicle itself.
The subscription model will underpin the three upcoming Polestar models, however, Goodman said that those that still wish to buy the vehicle outright can choose to do so.