Polestar held its first ‘Polestar Day’ on the 9th of November, to showcase its plans for the future. Held in Los Angeles, California, the event gathered key executives and products in front of an audience of customers, investors, and the press. The company was joined by strategic partners including Bcomp, Göteborg Energi, Luminar, Mobileye and StoreDot. Several announcements were made regarding manufacturing, charging technologies, and funding.

Manufacturing

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, announced that the Polestar 3 will be produced in Chengdu China, starting in Q1 2024, with first deliveries made from Q2 2024. The car will also be produced in South Carolina, USA from the summer of 2024. Production of the Polestar 4 will begin this month at the Hangzhou Bay factory in China, with first Chinese customer deliveries beginning before the end of 2023. In all other markets the vehicle will launch in early 2024, with first deliveries in the summer of 2024. Additionally, the Polestar 4 will be produced in Busan, South Korea from H2 2025 for the North American and South Korean markets. This will be achieved through an agreement with Geely Holdings and Renault Korea Motors (RKM) that operate the Busan plant. Ingenlath commented, “we will soon have manufacturing operations in five factories, across three countries, supporting our global growth ambitions.”

Charging and Grid

The company announced its plans to join stakeholders in the electricity grid sector, to commence a large-scale vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project in Gothenburg, Sweden. The pilot project will use a fleet of Polestar 3 cars, and is funded by the Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova. It is set to explore potential business models for Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), and test practical uses that have the potential for scalability. The testing phase is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2024 and extend over two years.

Moreover, Polestar is collaborating with the California Energy Commission and the independent non-profit energy research institute EPRI, with funding from Vinnova. This collaboration involves a pre-study to develop a roadmap for the implementation of V2G services in California. Within this context, Polestar is actively working on the creation of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) that interconnects all Polestar 3 vehicles linked to the grid. The pre-study is scheduled to commence in December 2023 and will continue until October 2024.

Furthermore, Polestar is working with StoreDot to integrate extreme fast charging (XFC) technology. XFC can be incorporated into current battery pack designs and without requiring battery innovation. The pair aim to demonstrate StoreDot’s XFC technology in a prototype Polestar 5 next year.

Business Strategy and Funding

The company is aiming for an annual unit sales volume of up to 165,000 cars by 2025. It divulged it had received additional capital from both Geely Holdings and Volvo cars. Volvo Cars has extended its term loan to June 2027, adding USD200 million for a total investment of USD1 billion. Geely Sweden Automotive Investment AB is providing a USD250 million term loan with the same terms and maturity. Polestar anticipates needing around USD1.3 billion in external funding until reaching cash flow break-even in 2025. Additionally, Polestar has signed a supply agreement with SK On for high nickel battery cell modules for the upcoming Polestar 5 electric 4-door GT.

Rho’s Evaluation

Polestar sales have slowly gained traction in the last few years; however…

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Image credit: Adobe Stock

Sources: Polestar