A Polestar 3 electric SUV from Chinese-Swedish Volvo offshoot Polestar based on the sleek, futuristic Precept concept is in the works, but the news for Australian consumers is bleak because the earlier Polestar 2 EV and the Volvo XC40 plug in will no longer be available in 2020.
Volvo confirmed this week that the Australian launch of the two vehicles will be put off until 2021, around the same time that the electric vehicle maker’s head of design Max Missoni hopes to launch the Polestar 3.
The Polestar brand was formed out of Volvo’s first foray into electric drivetrains, and seeks to compete with electric car juggernaut Tesla with avante-garde luxury electric vehicles that push the design envelope.
It also seeks to make such offerings more affordable via a subscription model that would include maintenance, connectivity and other features.
In March, parent group Geely commenced production of the Polestar 2 in Luqiauo, and a launch date for Australia was set for late 2020.
However, in light of factory closures to contain the spread of Coronavirus, Volvo Australia has confirmed with The Driven that Polestar’s 2nd electric mode the Polestar 2, as well as the XC40 Recharge plug-in hybrid, will now not be available until 2021.
“The planning was to have both the Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid (in Australia) at year’s end,” public relation director Greg Bosnich tells The Driven.
“With all the actions taken around our factory closures we now await final confirmation on production related ramp up and timing.”
The Polestar 2, which in Germany is expected to be priced at €39,900 ($A68,160), is a fastback-style vehicle that packs a 78kWh battery and dual motors offering 300kW power combined and 330Nm torque. Its targeted 500km driving range will meet with expectations of those seeking longer range EVs such as Tesla’s higher spec’d electric vehicles.
The arrival of the XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) will be offered in Australia instead of the all-electric model which is to be built on the same Compact Modular Architecture platform with similar specs to the Polestar 2.
Volvo has stated that it wants 50% of global sales to be all-electric by by 2025, with the rest of sales to be plug-in hybrids.
To ensure that the PHEV models have the desired environmental impact, the Chinese-Swedish car maker has also said it will encourage PHEV drivers to charge up instead of driving on fossil-fuels by kicking in 12 months free electricity.
The Polestar 3 will draw strongly on Polestar’s serene vision of the future, the Precept that was first unveiled in February.
Head of design Max Missoni hinted to UK car mag Autocar that this next electric model will be Polestar’s answer to the Tesla Model X.
“Our next car will be a performance SUV, the Polestar 3, and that will carry some of the features and design cues that you’ve seen in the Precept,” he was quoted as saying by Autocar.
Like the Polestar 2, it will favour a clean and simple interior with a tablet-like touchscreen, Missoni hinted to Autocar.
“We’re really keen on keeping a minimalistic surface to things, keeping things extremely pure and clear,” Missoni said.
While the SUV-style body will sit higher than its fastback stablemate, Missoni says the third electric vehicle will keep close to the brand’s design language and intention to deliver a premium performance experience to drivers.
“We want the cars to be performance cars, not only from 0-60mph but [also] great driver’s cars with good driving dynamics,” Missoni said. “All of our cars, especially with the performance pack, will fulfil some of those desires.”
Polestar recently released a suite of new images of the Precept showing more details than ever before of the sleek concept including sustainable materials and lightweight composites from recycled and vegan sources, resulting in an 80% reduction in plastic.
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.