Volvo electric vehicle offshoot Polestar has taken a massive step towards putting its vehicles into the hands of customers with the opening of its first factory in Chengdu, China. The commissioning of the new factory comes as the company announces the start of production of its flagship hybrid Polestar 1 vehicle.
The new factory will begin churning out the carbon fiber clad Polestar 1 over the next few months, with the first customer deliveries planned before the end of 2019. The Polestar 1 follows in the path laid out before it by the BMW i8, which set the standard for what it is to be a performance hybrid electric vehicle. The Polestar 1 will similarly meld the worlds of internal combustion engines and electric motors to maximize performance and the driving experience.
“Here in Chengdu we are not only manufacturing a premium hybrid-electric performance car,” Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said. “We have also created an inspirational manufacturing environment, a great place to work and visit. It truly reflects the Polestar brand.”
The new manufacturing facility was extracted from the imagination of legendary architectural design firm Snøhetta and reflects the vision Polestar aspires to embody. Running parallel to the fundamental design principle of its vehicles, the manufacturing facility was inspired by sustainability and responsibility. The quest led the company to integrated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) design principles into the facility from the outset, ultimately achieving LEED Gold status.
“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.”
The Polestar 1 sports an impressive 600 horsepower and a neck-jarring 1,000 newton-meters of torque makes it one of the top performing plug-in vehicles in China and ripe for export. Polestar has ambitions to export the Polestar 1 after initial domestic deliveries to customers in China.
The fact that in 2019, with vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 Performance and the NIO ES9, Polestar still felt the need to lean on the crutch of petrol engines is a bit of a mystery. Let’s hope it doesn’t relegate the otherwise well equipped Polestar 1 into the pages of the history books before it has a chance to launch.
Either way, the Polestar 1 will be little more than a blip on the radar, with only 500 planned for production for a total of 3 years. Yeah, that’s only 1,500 vehicles total, over 3 years. Oh well, it was almost an important vehicle in the electric vehicle revolution.