Pure-electric Polestar 2 is coming to New Zealand - just don't call it a Volvo
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Polestar, Volvo's dedicated Electric Vehicle (EV) brand, is set on major expansion this year. It has announced plans to sell the Polestar 2 Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) in five new markets in the Asia Pacific region this year - including New Zealand.
Polestar was formerly Volvo's motorsport division (now called Cyan Racing), also contributing enhancements to select Volvo road cars like the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered.
But in 2017, the Polestar brand was reassigned to a new company founded by Volvo and parent company Geely Holding to design and produce high-end EVs.
Its first product was the Polestar 1, a low-volume Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) GT with 1000Nm, a carbon-fibre body and an electric range of 124km - the longest of any PHEV in the world.
The Polestar 2 destined for NZ is bit more mainstream: a pure-electric "fastback" SUV launched last year with a 300kW/660Nm AWD powertrain and maximum range of 470km.
There's an even faster SUV also on the way: the Polestar 3.
“The brand is gathering real momentum, and it is great to be expanding with Polestar 2 beyond our initial global markets in China, North America and Europe,” says Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.
But please don't call the Polestar a Volvo. The company is determined to be completely separate (Volvo will have its own range of BEVs in the future), including marketing and distribution.
"Polestar is an independent company and will not be operated by existing local Volvo Cars enterprises," says the company. "However, Volvo Cars enterprises in these markets may assist in the establishment of the brand, as well as with the service and maintenance of Polestar vehicles.
"The local Polestar organisations and partner agreements will take shape in these markets during the course of 2021."
While it seems like a no-brainer for Polestar to be handled by Volvo in a small market like NZ, there has been a firm "no comment" from Volvo's local arm so far.
The other new Asia Pacific markets are South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
Polestar's official footprint will cover 18 countries by 2022.