A Polestar electric vehicle (EV) showroom will be opening in the Battery Atlanta.
The Courier spoke with the manager of the showroom, Sergie Antipov, who described the origin of the company.
“Polestar is a Swedish brand, which was started actually with Volvo in 1990s,” Antipov said. “Because there was a mod company (a company that modifies existing vehicles).”
Antipov said the original Polestar engineers would take “the old boxy Volvos,” make modifications, and race the resulting modified cars.
“They won a lot of Grand Prix with that actually,” he said. “So Volvo was very interested, and sort of cooperated with them, and they were part of Volvo for a long time.”
Antipov said that in 2015 Volvo bought out the company that had been producing the modified Volvos for racing. In 2017 a decision was made to make Polestar a separate brand, and the company went in the direction of creating performance luxury fully electric vehicles.
“It’s also very sustainability oriented,” he said. “It’s one of the actually the first automotive companies, which are being very transparent about the sustainability …”
“So there’s no green wash.” he said. Antipov said the company admits up front that it hasn’t reach “climate zero.” He said the goal is to achieve zero impact on climate by 2030, and with each new model, the company moves closer to that goal.
The Courier asked Antipov the price range of Polestar vehicles.
“It starts at around $50,000,” he said. The current model displayed in the showroom, the Polestar 2, ranges from $50,000 to $70,000, Antipov said.
There are models coming, including an SUV, that will cost up to $100,000, he said.
Antipov said that Polestar EVs are not eligible for tax credits at this point.
“Because the new regulations mandate that the current parts, a certain percentage has to be made in US,” he said. “The Polestar 3, beginning next year, will be produced in China in the first batch, but the year after it’s moving to the South Carolina plant and we’re going to have a domestic production.”
The Courier asked how maintenance and repair will be handled for customers of Polestar EVs.
“The good news here that because of the relationship to Volvo, you’re going to be utilizing Volvo’s existing service drives,” he said. “And there is a vast network in United States because throughout the years, they established all that.”
“So so the Polestar customer will take their car to the Volvo participating service dealership,” Antipov said. “And also of course, all the Polestars warranty of 4 years/50,000 miles. The battery alone has its own warranty which is 8 yrs/100,000 miles.
“And of course there is roadside assistance so if there is a breakdown, you know you can count on that, … they will come for rescue,” he said.
The showroom was tiny, with enough space for three cars (all Polestar 2) one each in gray, black and white, in addition to a display table with color options.
“Polestar spaces in the world look the same,” he said. “Like it’s very uniform. It’s all focused on the product, as you can see, because we have no excessive furniture or anything like that. No banners, it’s all about the product.”
He said there are three cars plus a test drive vehicle.
“When you purchase the car, you do everything seamlessly, it takes you through the journey,” Antipov said. “And it’s very easy because you can do it at home on your phone.”
“And then you just come and pick up your car when it’s arrived home when it’s ready.
He said the customer would meet with a specialist who would explain how the vehicle works, since EVs operate differently from internal combustion engine vehicles.
The Courier asked what range the vehicle would have on a full battery charge.
Antipov said the average was around 300 miles, but it would depend on a number of factors like whether the AC is running, outside temperature, and the terrain.
[Editor’s note: I’m switching to first person in this section so the description of my test drive of the car will be less awkward].
The Polestar specialist described operation of the car briefly. Sitting down in the driver’s seat started the car. Reverse and drive are much like a conventional car with an automatic transmission. I couldn’t hear any sound from the motor.
There is an accelerator and brake pedal, but only the accelerator pedal is necessary. Depressing the accelerator pedal starts and increases the speed, lifting pressure off the pedal brakes the car. The brakes are regenerative, so to an extent the battery gets recharged with each braking.
The separate brake pedal is for emergencies and for those who don’t want to adapt to one-pedal driving. The one-pedal can be adjusted for more or less aggressive braking.
We started on Battery Avenue, made a left on 41, and a right on Spring Road. After driving for awhile we cut northward to Windy Hill Parkway, and right on 41 just north of the Target store.
It was surprisingly easy to adapt to the single pedal. For the first half mile or so I reflexively used the separate brake pedal, but then started braking by lifting my foot. I never felt there was a danger of hitting anything in front of the car, and soon braking with the single pedal became a habit.
When we arrived back at the showroom I switched seats with the specialist so he could parallel park the car. I didn’t feel like testing my rusty parallel parking skills on a $70,000 car.
Antipov said that the showroom would have a grand opening soon. The Courier will update when we learn of the date. The showroom is located at 950 Battery Avenue, Atlanta GA.