Polestar, Volvo’s performance brand, has chosen the UK for a new research and development centre. The news comes at a time when the automotive industry has shrunk in the face of Brexit…
A Tesla Competitor?
Polestar is an all-electric automaker, focusing on the luxury and performance segment. Owned by the Swedish company Volvo, it’s now looking to secure its slice of the EV cake. Polestar 2, it’s first volume model, is expected to arrive in the early 2020s. Some industry analysts have described its potential as a Tesla competitor. With ambitious growth plans, its now announced that it’ll be opening a research and development centre in Coventry. The news comes at a time when investment in the UK’s automotive industry has flat-lined; something many attribute to uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The company intends to take on 60 engineers, mainly specialists, to develop future products. These will go beyond the planned Polestar 3; an electric SUV. As it stands, the Polestar 1 isn’t even on sale yet. What this means is Volvo has a long-term vision in the marque, being evidently happy to invest now and reap the profits later down the line. Polestar’s Head of Research and Development, Hans Pehrson, said the centre will focus on “skills in low-volume, light-weight, multi-material performance car engineering.” He explained it would “allow us to take the next steps towards our future cars.”
Not all of the sixty team members will be new hires. Some will have preexisting involvement with the marque, although currently in a limited capacity. As Pehrson explained, “the team that will kick start the new UK research and development subsidiary is already well-versed in Polestar engineering philosophy, and we will expand the initial team further during the course of 2019″. He concluded, “these engineers will be a great complement to our existing R&D team based in Sweden, and other supporting teams around the world.”
A Small, But Welcome, Development
Polestar’s decision to open shop in the UK will no doubt be welcomed by the nation’s automotive industry. Whilst still relatively small scale, it demonstrates the confidence companies still have in the nation’s skilled workforce. With bold predictions for the future of electric vehicles, it’s somewhat comforting to know that Britain will be contributing to the transition.
What Happens To EV Batteries When They Expire? http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/ev-batteries-expire/
Debunking Electric Car Myths: https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/debunking-electric-car-myths/