The flagship all-electric vehicle from Volvo’s Polestar brand will be available in Australia from next year, it has been announced.
The Polestar 2, which is the second to bear the Polestar name but the first full electric vehicle from parent company Volvo, will arrive in late 2020 and be available for sale online.
The Polestar 2, which is a premium 5-door liftback style vehicle, is considered a serious contender to the domination of EV pioneer Tesla.
First unveiled at this year’s Geneva Auto Show, it has a 78kWh battery, dual motors offering 300kW power combined, 330Nm torque.
And, with a targeted 500km range, the Polestar could be well accepted in the Australian marketplace.
Polestar, which evolved out of Swedish-Chinese Volvo’s first eponymous plug-in hybrid vehicle, is being set a target of up to 1,800 vehicles to be sold within its first 12 months in Australia.
The news came from Polestar global COO Jonathan Goodman during an event in Gothenburg, Sweden, last week.
“That’s the kind of throughput we’re looking for [dealers] to make reasonable money,” Goodman said according to Car Sales.
“Australia is very much an interesting market for us to look at and an attractive market.”
“Our plans will be probably be back-end of 2020 to launch Polestar 2 in Australia in right-hand drive. We are in the process of working on that and we are now going to sit down with the team at Volvo Car Australia to establish how we go about doing it.”
Speaking to a media contingent, Goodman said the Polestar would be showcased at two to three “Polestar Spaces” located at Volvo dealerships, including in Sydney and Melbourne and possibly also Brisbane, with 500-600 sales per year at each location expected.
Goodman says this will make the car purchasing process easy – the 250 square metre spaces which will be located in high traffic shopping centres will be staffed not by salespeople but “product experts”.
“In simple terms, we want to put a bit of fun back into retail,” said Goodman.
“What we wanted to do was create something that was a bit more intimate, that was in town centres where people go to shop anyway, to make it a bit more accessible, and certainly less intimidating.”
While the vehicles will be available to buy outright, Goodman expects a considerable proportion will be sold on a subscription plan that covers all car ownership basics – maintenance, servicing and cleaning.
Owners won’t even have to take their vehicle to a dealership – servicing staff will use a digital key to access, service and return the vehicle while the owner is at work.
With the Polestar company owned jointly by Volvo and its parent company Geely, the Swedish-Chinese carmaker will make the Polestar 2 in Luqiao, China.
While a price for Australia has not yet been set, it is expected to come in at far less than the first Polestar, which carried a hefty price tag of €150,000 ($A240,000 at today’s rates – it was never available here however).
With a starting price of €39,900 ($A63,720 at today’s rates), in Germany, it is thought that the Polestar will cost around $A90,000 in Australia.
Down the track, Goodman hinted that a cheaper version with smaller range may become available, to be followed by a Polestar 3 “SUV Coupe”.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.