Polestar 2 SPOC Block Drives EV Crash Safety

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With a recently-announced base price just a tick under $60K in the US, the Polestar 2 electric sedan hopes to take on the hot-selling Tesla Model 3 in the near-lux EV market. As I type this, the Swedish car is finally in production as well, and a production-ready sample of the car can only mean one thing to fans of chaos and destruction. That’s right, gang: it’s crash test time!

Polestar 2 crash test
Polestar 2 crash test, image courtesy Polestar

As a performance-oriented spinoff of safety-focused Volvo, it’s no surprise that Polestar would take its EV crash safety seriously. Volvo also believes that overcoming battery safety concerns for a potentially tech-wary customer will play a big part in mainstream EV adoption. As such, “safety is of paramount importance for Polestar.” Those are the words of Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar. “We are directly linked to Volvo Cars and with that comes their famous reputation for outstanding safety technology. So of course, Polestar cars are designed to be amongst the safest in the world and we are really proud of that.”

In a severe crash, protecting the battery pack is key to passenger safety. That’s why Volvo and Polestar developed what they’re calling a SPOC block, a tough, deflective block of aluminum designed to minimize the intrusion of the front wheel into the passenger cabin and towards the battery pack in the event of a Severe Partial-Offset Collision (SPOC).

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In addition to beefed-up armoring, the Polestar 2’s high-voltage battery will automatically disconnect in the event of a serious collision. That will help prevent shocks and shorts to passengers as well as emergency personnel arriving to the scene.

You can check out Polestar’s official press release, below, then let us know what you think of the company’s push for improved EV safety awareness in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Polestar 2 matches electric vehicle performance with high levels of safety

Polestar 2 crash test

Polestar 2 continues its role of spearheading the introduction and development of new technologies for the Volvo Car Group. It is the first fully electric vehicle to be crash tested, the first to feature new Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) technology, and the first to be fitted with new front-inner-side airbags within the Group.

“Safety is of paramount importance for Polestar,” comments Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar. “We are directly linked to Volvo Cars and with that comes their famous reputation for outstanding safety technology. So of course, Polestar cars are designed to be amongst the safest in the world and we are really proud of that.”

Protecting the battery pack in the event of a collision is crucial. Enclosed in an aluminum case for both protection and rigidity, the battery pack is fully housed within the floor structure of the CMA platform. This approach not only reduces the risk of damage and stiffens the body structure, but also protects occupants by keeping the battery intact in the event of a collision. The entire package has also been tuned to cancel certain vibrational frequencies, acting as a damper to reduce so called Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH).

In the event of a crash, the battery pack is automatically disconnected from the rest of the vehicle to ensure there is no live connection. Protecting the battery pack during a collision is key. Polestar 2 features the ‘SPOC block’ (Severe Partial Offset Crash) – a deflective solid aluminum block housed on the bottom edge of the front firewall on either side of the car, designed to minimize intrusion of the wheel and other objects into the cabin and towards the battery pack during partially offset frontal collisions. Increasing protection in the absence of an internal combustion engine, Polestar 2 also features a new Front Lower Load Path (FLLP) that protects occupants and the battery pack from more direct frontal impacts, for example with a pole.

To improve safety at slow speeds, Polestar 2 features unique and specially developed external sounds as part of its acoustic warning system. Designed to be recognizable, non-intrusive and natural-sounding, the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) has been engineered according to very specific parameters, with a pending patent.

“We deliberately did not want Polestar 2 to sound like a robot or symphonic spaceship,” comments Thomas Ingenlath. “We wanted very natural, subtle sounds that simply let pedestrians know the car is moving. At the same time, we wanted Polestar 2 to sound slightly unique and become identifiable as a Polestar, while remaining relatively simple.”

Sound engineers have paid specific attention to the positioning of the external speakers to ensure the way the sound is radiated from the vehicle both complies with legal requirements and ensures a comfortable experience for both pedestrians and vehicle occupants.

Polestar 2 also features inner-side airbags fitted to the front seats. These new airbags, which are standard fitment in all markets, add an extra layer of protection for the inner limbs of the front occupants who are now individually protected from both sides, as well as from the front.

The safety arsenal of Polestar 2 expands beyond crashworthiness and audio warnings. All available safety systems and assistance features are fitted as standard in the launch edition, giving customers absolute peace of mind that they will be driving one of the most advanced cars on the road.

Polestar 2 debuts a new generation of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology, which will make its way into other products from the Volvo Car Group as well. Pilot Assist is an advanced driver assistance system which provides acceleration, braking and steering assistance up to 130 km/h.

In its latest guise, Pilot Assist features location-based enhancements which adjust the amount of assistance in acceleration based on the car’s actual position.

Detection systems for other vehicles in front, behind and in the blind spots of the car, as well as pedestrians and cyclists ahead of the car, are all coupled to steering assistance and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to help ensure that interactions between other road users and Polestar 2 are kept as safe as possible at all times.

Polestar 2 Airbag Rendering

polestar 2 crash safety
polestar 2 crash safety

Source | Images: Polestar.

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