Polestar will build its next all-electric model in the United States, as well as at a facility in China, the Volvo EV spinoff announced today.
The move could prove critical if President Joe Biden wins passage of the infrastructure program and other measures he is favoring. They are promising incentives for U.S. EV production and may also boost tax credits for motorists who buy American-made battery-electric cars.
“Production in the USA makes procurement more efficient, reduces delivery times and will even have a positive impact on the price of the Polestar 3 SUV,” said Polestar COO Dennis Nobelius in a statement. “All of this makes the brand even more competitive in the critical American sales market.”
All future products will be electric
Polestar is a Volvo spinoff brand focusing on electrified vehicles. It’s original model, the Polestar 1, was a high-performance plug-in hybrid but, going forward, all of its models will run entirely on battery power. That shift started with the recently launched Polestar 2.
The company has yet to reveal details of the Polestar 3 but describes it as “an aerodynamic SUV showcasing the next evolution of Polestar’s design language, and the native Android Automotive operating system, first debuted in Polestar 2.”
The new model is expected to push well into the premium segment of the EV market, taking on the likes of the Tesla Model X and upcoming Cadillac Lyriq, among others. It is expected to boast a range of at least 300 miles and also will deliver sports car-level acceleration, as has become the norm for high-line battery-electric vehicles.
Polestar 3 initially was expected to be built at a new facility in China being erected by Zhejiang Geely Holding, the parent of both Polestar and Volvo. The factory is set to go into the city of Chongqing and was reported by Reuters as having an annual production capacity of 30,000 vehicles annually.
In April, Polestar announced that it had raised $550 million in the first funding round to bring in outside investors. That money was to be used for new production capacity and development of additional models. A Polestar 4 is reportedly also being developed.
Plan plays to Biden’s plan for U.S. EV production
Whether the plan for Polestar 3 initially called for U.S. production isn’t clear but there clearly could be financial incentives to do so. The Biden infrastructure plan would set aside $170 billion for EVs, including money for a national charging network, as well as sales incentives.
One proposal before the U.S. Senate would increase the current, $7,500 tax credit for EV buyers to as much as $12,500. That would include $2,500 for vehicles assembled in the U.S., another $2,500 for vehicles assembled by American unions.
The factory that Polestar will use for the new model is in Ridgeville, South Carolina and was opened in 2018 by Volvo to produce its S60 model. It currently operates without a union. Volvo also announced today the company will invest $118 million into the facility to get it ready for Polestar production.
“Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s Chief Executive Officer. “I remember the great response when I first shared Polestar’s vision here in the USA and I am proud that our first SUV will be manufactured in South Carolina. From now on, the USA is no longer an export market but a home market.”
Polestar is currently in launch phase and now operates in 13 countries.