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Polestar 2 to take on Model 3 in 2019, followed by electric SUV

by Justin King

The standalone brand will shift away from the traditional ownership model, instead embracing online ordering and a subscription plan with Phone-As-Key technology for easy sharing.

Volvo Cars and parent Geely Holding have outlined an ambitious expansion plan for Polestar, the newly formed standalone brand for performance electrified vehicles.

The Polestar 1 inaugurates the marque as a halo car, serving a niche market for a large 2+2 plug-in hybrid coupe with 600 horsepower and more than 90 miles of all-electric range.

The company plans to immediately move downmarket with the Polestar 2, an all-electric midsize car that aims to take on the Tesla Model 3 when it arrives in 2019.

"The initial phase of the Polestar product rollout will then be completed by the subsequent arrival of a larger SUV-style BEV, the Polestar 3, which will create a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics," the company says.

The brand will attempt to eschew the traditional sales/ownership model, instead embracing online ordering and subscription-based distribution with zero deposit and pickup and delivery servicing. The approach limits the need for dedicated storefronts, however a network of 'Polestar Spaces' will be established for customers who appreciate in-person interaction with products.

Polestar will receive around $756 million in funding to support its initial expansion phase, including a dedicated manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China.

"With China as a driving force behind the electrification of the global car industry, Polestar will spearhead the development of new technologies and enhance Volvo Cars' leadership within electrification and connectivity," Volvo says. "Polestar will also benefit from having privileged access to Volvo's global and well-established manufacturing standards and expertise as it establishes its own manufacturing operations in Chengdu."

The Polestar 2 will represent the group's first all-electric vehicle, one of five Polestar- or Volvo-branded EVs that are on the product roadmap from 2019 through 2021.