Polestar begins building Polestar 2 electric car in its new Chinese factory

Ronan Glon

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Volvo-operated Polestar managed to launch production of the Polestar 2, its second model, in a new facility in China in spite of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. The electric fastback was unveiled in February 2019.

Company CEO Thomas Ingenlath, who previously ran Volvo's design department and pioneered its visual renaissance, explained launching production in this context was challenging. The coronavirus shut down much of China's economy in early 2020, so his team made what he described as huge efforts to launch production on schedule. Photos taken inside the factory suggest it's not a small-scale operation; there are dozens of cars on the assembly line, plus numerous powertrains and countless parts. The workers are all wearing masks.

On paper, the first cars coming off the assembly line will all be identical. They're fitted with a 78-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and a pair of electric motors (one per axle) that deliver a combined output of 408 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque. Polestar quotes a 4.7-second sprint from zero to 60 mph, about 300 miles of range when tested using Europe's WLTP cycle, and a useful 3,300-pound towing capacity.

Enthusiasts can order the fastback — which started life in 2016 as the Volvo 40.2 concept —with an optional Performance Pack that adds four-piston Brembo brake calipers on the front axle, an adjustable suspension developed by Öhlins, and specific 20-inch alloy wheels. Pricing for the North American market hasn't been announced yet, but European customers need to pay 6,000 euros (around $6,500) for the bundle.

Polestar plans to begin delivering the 2 to customers in Europe this summer. It will then start building cars for the Chinese and American markets. The Polestar 2 is expected to start at around $63,000. The company previously announced reservation holders in California and Washington will be the first to receive their cars, and they'll be able to claim a $7,500 federal tax credit.

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