Polestar, the electric performance brand, today opens its first production facility, a key milestone for the rapidly growing car company. Polestar also announces its World Manufacturing Identifier, which officiates the brand as a standalone car company. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicles 2020-2030.
The new Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China, sets a new industry benchmark in electric vehicle manufacture and will produce the Polestar 1 - an exclusive, carbon fibre-bodied Electric Performance Hybrid. The facility, which has been completed on schedule, will produce vehicles for both China and global export markets with first customer deliveries expected before the end of 2019.
The Polestar 1, which boasts 600 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque, becomes the most premium new energy vehicle to be manufactured in China, the world's largest EV market. The inauguration underlines China's maturing industrialisation, an improving reputation for quality manufacturing, and, crucially, access to the right skills.
Craftsmanship and the integration of high-tech digital technology come together in producing the Polestar 1. The process is overseen by highly trained quality control auditors.
Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar, comments: "Here in Chengdu we are not only manufacturing a premium hybrid-electric performance car. We have also created an inspirational manufacturing environment, a great place to work and visit. It truly reflects the Polestar brand. We promised we would have our first production facility built in 2019, we promised cars would be delivered to customers this year, and we promised we would do things differently - once again we are delivering on our promises. This is a hugely proud moment for the whole team at Polestar."
The Polestar Production Centre aims to be one of the most environmentally responsible car factories in China. In keeping with these ambitions, and expected later in 2019, the facility was conceived with the goal of achieving Gold status in the globally-recognised LEED ratings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The LEED rating prescribes a holistic approach, which challenged the team to work exclusively with suppliers that subscribe to an environmentally responsible approach.
The facility's location in Chengdu is also integral to Polestar's brand values of 'pure, progressive, performance': pure in its focus on sustainability, progressive in both design and technology, and showcasing performance through its exacting and precise manufacturing processes. Designed by internationally renowned architecture and design company, Snøhetta, the new Chengdu production facility incorporates a customer experience centre including a test track and a glazed atrium offering a panoramic view over the factory floor.
"Designing Polestar's first production facility has been a challenging and extremely rewarding project for us," says Snøhetta's co-founder, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. "The innovative design of the interaction scheme aligns creative visionary processes with technical production requirements, setting a new standard for inclusive fabrication facilities."
Five hundred Polestar 1 cars are planned to be built per year in the new Chengdu facility, with a total of 1,500 planned over a three year production cycle. Construction of Polestar 1 in Chengdu will be followed by production of Polestar 2 in Luqiao, China, in early 2020.
Polestar is the electric performance car brand jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and Zhejiang Geely Holding. Polestar enjoys specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefits from significant economies of scale as a result. This facilitates the successful design, development and production of separately-branded, electric performance cars. Polestar launched in 2017 with the Polestar 1 - a low-volume Electric Performance Hybrid GT with 600 hp, 1,000 Nm and an electric-only range of 150 km - the longest of any hybrid car in the world. In 2019, the Polestar 2 was revealed as the company's first full electric, higher volume premium car designed to compete around the Tesla Model 3. In the future, Polestar 3 will join the portfolio as a fully electric performance SUV.
Polestar also applies its technology and expertise to electrified Volvo cars. The new Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered models feature key Polestar components to create a sharper and more engaging driving experience.
Source and top image: Polestar