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Volvo's Electric Performance Brand Polestar Announces U.S. Pricing for the 2021 Polestar 2

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【Summary】The latest fully-electric vehicle to hit the U.S. market comes from Polestar, the new performance electric division of Volvo Cars. Today, Polestar announced the Polestar 2 electric performance fastback will have a MSRP of $59,900 when it goes on sale this summer.

FutureCar Staff    Apr 23, 2020 1:45 PM PT
Volvo's Electric Performance Brand Polestar Announces U.S. Pricing for the 2021 Polestar 2
The Polestar 2

The runaway success of electric automaker Tesla has led to new competition from legacy automakers, as they begin to release their first fully-electric models. The latest vehicle scheduled to hit the U.S. market comes from Polestar, the new performance electric division of Volvo Cars. 

Polestar announced the official pricing of its first mass-market electric performance car, the 2021 Polestar 2. The electric performance fastback will have a MSRP of $59,900 in the U.S.

Polestar is jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely). The company is operated by Sweden-based Volvo Cars as a standalone performance EV brand.

The Polestar 2 will compete with Tesla's Model 3 and Model S. The Polestar 2 is a more affordable alternative to the Tesla Model S that delivers sportscar-like performance.

Polestar first revealed the Polestar 2 in February 2019, ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. 

The Polestar 2 is rated at 408 horsepower with 487 lb.-ft. of torque. The EV features an all-wheel drive powertrain and 78 kWh battery pack. Range is expected to be over 300 miles. The Polestar 2 can go from zero to 60 mph in about five seconds.

"We are quite enthusiastic to announce the U.S. pricing for the Polestar 2," said Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar USA. "The MSRP is lower than we originally targeted, and will be extended to all of our current reservation holders. "With an online purchase option, lower pricing, considerable tax incentives, and production already underway, the Polestar 2 is well positioned for a successful entry into the U.S. market."

Polestar also announces the price of the Polestar 2's upgrade options. Buyers adding the Performance Pack will pay an additional $5,000. For comparison, Tesla's Dual-Motor All-Wheel-Drive Performance option on the Model 3 sedan costs $17,000 more than the Standard Range Plus version.

Buyers of the Polestar 2 can also add a luxurious Nappa Leather Interior option for $4,000, larger 20-inch alloy wheels for an extra $1,200 and metallic paint colors for $1,200.

polestar.jpg

The Polestar 2 is the World's First Vehicle Powered by Android

The Polestar 2 is the first car in the world to feature a built-in infotainment system powered by Android. The vehicle features Google Assistant, Google Maps with EV charging support and app downloads via the Google Play Store right from the infotainment unit. Drivers do not need to sync their smartphones to use the Google apps.

Polestar says the Android-powered infotainment system essentially "future proofs" the vehicle by offering automatic over-the-air software updates, so it always stays up to date. The Android operating system is always connected to the internet making the vehicle a truly connected car.

Priced So Buyers Can Take Advantage of Higher EV Tax Breaks

The Polestar 2's $59,000 MSRP is just below state incentive thresholds in California and New York for the purchase of battery-powered vehicles. EVs costing more than $60,000 are exempt from the incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles since they are deemed luxury models and buyers of these models tend to have higher incomes. By pricing the vehicle under 60k, buyers actually pay less with the added incentives.

California leads in the U.S. in EV and hybrid vehicle sales.

The $59,000 price tag allows for state rebates of approximately $2,000 in certain states, for total tax incentives of up to $9,500 when combined with the federal electric vehicle tax credit of $7,500. However, California has put caps on its electric car rebates. 

According to a March 2020 report by Car & Driver, California has paid out $809 million in incentives for the purchase of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles since 2010. Most of the rebate dollars went towards the purchase of expensive Tesla models. 

Effective Dec. 3, 2019 the California Air Resources Board made changes to the rebate terms in order to more evenly distribute the state's EV rebate dollars. California lowered EV rebates for affluent buyers, who could afford more expensive electric vehicles.

In 2016, the state began restricting the rebate to single filers who made $250,000 or less annually. As of December 3, 2019, single-filers who make more than $150,000 and joint-filers who make $300,000 annually are not eligible for the state's electric vehicle rebate. 

California also set a range threshold for electric and hybrid vehicles. Plug-in hybrids with electric ranges of less than 35 miles are not eligible for the rebate, regardless of the income of the buyer.

Buyers of the electric Polestar 2 however will be eligible for a federal EV tax credit of $7,500, in addition to any state incentives.

polestar inside.jpg

The interior of the Polestar 2.

Production of the Polestar 2 began production in late March on schedule. Deliveries to U.S. reservation holders will begin this summer.

Like Tesla, Polestar has adopted a digital retail sales model. The Polestar 2 can be purchased online at Polestar.com. However, Polestar plans to open physical retail showrooms called "Polestar Spaces" where Polestar product specialists will be able to assist customers with information and test drives. 

The first of these Polestar Spaces will open on the West Coast of the United States and New York in late summer 2020, with additional locations to follow, the company said.

The Polestar 2 will be available for sale in all 50 U.S. states. The company will announce lease and retail finance options for the vehicle in the near future.

Earlier this month, Polestar shared details about its new Precept electric sedan, a car that might rival the likes of the Porsche Taycan and BMW i4 electric sedan. The Precept was created to showcase three key areas for Polestar—sustainability, digital technology and cutting edge design.

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