Electric Vehicle Brand Polestar to build its New SUV in the U.S.
【Summary】Polestar, the electric vehicle brand owned by Swedish automaker Volvo and Chinese automaker Geely, announced on Wednesday that its next vehicle will be manufactured at the Volvo Cars production center in Ridgeville, South Carolina. The new vehicle is an electric-performance SUV called the Polestar 3.
Polestar, the standalone electric brand owned by Swedish automaker Volvo and Chinese automaker Geely, announced on Wednesday that its building its next vehicle, an electric/performance SUV called the Polestar 3, in the U.S.
The forthcoming Polestar 3 will be manufactured at the Volvo Cars production center in Ridgeville, South Carolina. All of the Polestar 3 vehicles built in South Carolina will be sold in the U.S., the company said.
The Ridgeville plant was first opened in 2018 by Volvo Cars. The plant is currently the production home of the Volvo S60 mid-size sedan. The facility will produce the next generation XC90 sport utility vehicle around 2022. It has the capacity to produce up to 150,000 cars annually.
"Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers," says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar's Chief Executive Officer. "I remember the great response when I first shared Polestar's vision here in the USA and I am proud that our first SUV will be manufactured in South Carolina. From now on, the USA is no longer an export market but a home market."
As Polestar expands its presence in the U.S., the company said it will open around 25 retail "Polestar Spaces" across the country in 2021. Like Tesla, Polestar will not have a traditional network of dealerships. The Polestar Spaces offer customer services such as home test drives, free pick-up and delivery servicing, and other conveniences for consumers.
In March, Polestar announced a partnership with EV charging provider ChargePoint that will give Polestar drivers in the U.S. access to one of the world's largest EV charging networks. Drivers of the Polestar 2 fastback, Polestar's first mass-market EV, can access ChargePoint's embedded charging app right from the vehicle's Android Automotive OS-powered infotainment system.
The Polestar 2 EV was recognized as the world's first vehicle to come with Google's new Android Automotive OS embedded in the vehicle's infotainment system. Android Automotive OS allows drivers and passengers to access popular Google services such as Maps, Play and Assistant without having to sync a smartphone.
The aerodynamic electric performance Polestar 3 will also feature connectivity features based on Google's native Android Automotive OS infotainment system, as well as high-end, safety-focused autonomous driving features, the company said.
The electric Polestar brand was launched as a joint venture in 2017 by automakers Geely and Volvo Cars. Geely is the parent company of Volvo Cars. As a new standalone EV brand, Polestar is competing with Tesla, BMW and other EV startups like Lucid Motors and Chinese EV startups Xpeng and NIO.
The Polestar Percept sedan, unveiled last year, offers a glimpse of the type of vehicles Polestar plans to offer in the future.
Polestar 3 will be the first vehicle built on Volvo's next generation electric vehicle architecture, which has been designed from the ground up specifically for electric vehicles.
Production of Polestar 3 is expected to begin globally in 2022. Full details of the upcoming SUV will be made available at a later date.
Polestar's U.S. production of an sleek electric SUV will give Tesla some new competition at home. The Polestar 3 will likely be a strong competitor to Tesla's Model Y SUV. Polestar also says that building the Polestar 3 in the U.S. will be more cost effective, rather than shipping its cars around the world.
"Production in the USA reduces delivery times as well as the environmental impact associated with shipping vehicles around the world. It will even have a positive impact on the price of Polestar 3," says Dennis Nobelius, Chief Operating Officer at Polestar. "All of this makes the brand even more competitive in the critical American sales market."
In April, Polestar announced it raised US$550 million from a group of long-term external investors. The new financing comes as investors pour money in electric vehicle stocks and related companies working on advanced mobility, including EV battery technology and self-driving vehicles.
Last year, Polestar unveiled the Precept concept electric sedan, an electric car that might rival the likes of the Tesla Model S, Porsche Taycan and BMW i4 electric sedan.
Although the Precept is not available to purchase at this time, the state-of-the art electric sedan is meant to showcase the company's innovative and technologically advanced vehicles.
However, rather than labeling it as a concept car, Polestar refers to the Precept sedan as a "commitment car", as it offers a glimpse of the type of electric vehicles Polestar plans to offer in the future that will come to define the brand.
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