The rise of Polestar.

Aug 17, 2022

The Sino-Swedish carmaker, Polestar, has truly ambitious plans for its near future including an aggressive strategy to increase global sales from around 10,000 cars per year at present, to 290,000 per year by 2025.

Without question, electric vehicles are the single largest change to the automotive industry in over a hundred years with not just new ways of how cars are built and driven, technology is changing how cars are sold, serviced and recycled.

Another dimension of change is also the rapidly growing number of new electric vehicle manufacturers. One of those emerging brands the Giltrap Group is proud to be aligned with is Polestar, and straight out of the gate this premium electric brand is proving a hit with consumers.

Globally, Polestar deliveries more than doubled during the first four months of 2022 to approximately 13,600, while forward orders rose by a massive 350%. And here in New Zealand, buoyed by domestic government incentives and our above average adoption of EVs, sales rocketed upon the brand’s launch tracking at 500% above forecast.

The Sino-Swedish joint venture carmaker has truly ambitious plans for its near future (including an aggressive strategy to increase global sales from around 10,000 cars per year at present, to 290,000 per year by 2025), it isn’t standing still on the design or technology offering of imminent models.

Polestar, believe it or not was born, from motorsport. They have ties to Volvo dating back to 1996, where, under the name ‘Flash Engineering’ it developed a Volvo 850 sedan for competition Sweden’s Touring Car Championship. The team was later sold and rebranded as Polestar Racing and, in 2009 became the official Volvo partner to modify existing models and develop Volvo’s more extreme performance concept vehicles under the brand Polestar Performance. Even Kiwi Racer Scott McLaughlin famously raced for the brand in the Australian Supercar series.

In 2017, Volvo and its parent company, Geely, saw more potential in Polestar’s engineering capabilities than just building winning track vehicles, however. The brand’s remit was changed to instead develop leading hybrid and electric vehicle technology – and not just to benefit Volvo, but as a standalone brand with its own vision and personality.

So, it’s a brand with technical pedigree and credibility and with the Polestar 2 borrowing core underpinnings and styling cues from Volvo it is a very eye-catching car, which no doubt helped it gain such quick success.

Typically a new brand takes some time to establish itself, growing a network and putting vehicles on the road builds awareness and credibility, but it doesn’t happen overnight. With Polestar that traditional brand building phase has been greatly condensed, and demand really has been extraordinary.

So, what’s next for Polestar? Arguably their biggest test is yet to come. With the combined goal of becoming a climate neutral manufacturer before the end of the 2020s while also producing a larger portfolio of vehicles for more customers, Polestar is keen to stress it is no ‘one trick pony’.

Following two SUV-proportioned Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 models, the Polestar 5 sedan will eventually debut an entirely distinctive look for the brand, departing completely from any remaining Volvo-ish design language in its sheet metal or sustainably recycled interior detailing. Polestar has no intention of standing still.

With no less than 4 new products launching over the next 4 years, the near term Polestar onslaught will culminate in the Polestar 6 Sportscar in 2026. The hard-top convertible will be built on Polestar’s bespoke bonded aluminium platform. Developed in-house, it will feature the high-performance, 800-Volt electric architecture already confirmed for Polestar 5. This includes output of up to 650 kW (884 hp) and 900 Nm from a dual motor powertrain, a targeted 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3,2 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h.

Polestar has very quickly become one of the most exciting car makers in the market, be it electric or otherwise. From motorsport to full EV, the journey has been a little unorthodox, but that’s just how Polestar like it and their approach to the market going forward will be the same. It’ll be an exciting brand to watch and to represent over the next few years!