Polestar has reported huge interest from Australian customers for its Polestar 2 electric fastback, with 3,000 test drives booked and reports from customers that there are possibly at least as many pre-orders.
And, in overseas news, the Swedish EV maker says it is already planning a US release of an all-electric Polestar 3 SUV that will feature autonomous highway driving using LiDAR sensors and Nvidia chips.
After a minor technical setback earlier this week, pre-orders for the electric newcomer went live on Wednesday as well as bookings for test drives in Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Within a matter of hours, 3,000 of those test drives were booked, a spokesperson for Polestar Australia told The Driven. And while the Swedish EV maker’s Australian arm would not confirm how many fully refundable $500 deposits it had taken in the first 24 hours, it is understood to be in the thousands also.
Some buyers have been told there at least 2,500 orders in front of them and they will have to wait until mid-2022 to receive their vehicles. While not all pre-orders may convert into a sale, the numbers are certainly encouraging for both Polestar and for the gradually blossoming Australia EV market.
But it must be noted that it has taken more than two years for the company’s first all-electric vehicle to arrive on the local market, another reminder of the lag that Australia is experiencing due to a history of non-support for the clean transport transition from the federal government.
Having launched the Polestar 2 in the US in late 2019, Polestar is now readying to launch an American-made Polestar 3 – a sturdy electric SUV – there.
It will be made in Charleston, the company said on Friday, and will be the first vehicle Polestar will make in the US.
“We will build in America for Americans,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO in a statement.
“Polestar 3 is planned to be launched in 2022 as a premium electric performance SUV that will define the look of SUVs in the electric age. It will also be the first Polestar vehicle to be built in America.”
This announcement comes shortly after news that Polestar intends to ramp up production and sales to sell 290,000 EVs a year in 30 markets by 2025.
Polestar is already in 14 markets, and according to Ingenlath will achieve 10% of that number by the end of 2021. “From here on in, Polestar is all about growth,” said Ingenlath.
The Polestar 3 will be made at Volvo’s Charleston plant in South Carolina, and the company is also touring its planned Polestar 5 based on the Precept concept. It plans to release an electric vehicle every year for the next three years.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.