The coronavirus threat itself, and perhaps the economic fallout that lingers, will likely affect the rollout schedule—or perhaps even the production viability—for some of the electric cars we were looking forward to this year or next.
The electric-car brand from Volvo Cars and Geely says that it won’t be one of them. Polestar revealed Monday that it began production of its Polestar 2 this week in Luqiao, China, crediting its “precautions and planning over the last months.”
Polestar had already been making trial prototypes of the 2 at the facility in December, before the virus scare brought much of China to a halt in early February. The regular production ramp this week corresponds with the brand’s ongoing timetable to produce the model starting during the first quarter of 2020.
Polestar confirmed to Green Car Reports Monday that U.S. deliveries are on track for summer—subject to the ongoing health and economic conditions in the U.S., of course.
Polestar 2 towing
The all-wheel-drive Polestar 2 shares many of its underpinnings with the Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV that’s due later in the year—although the Volvo will be built in Belgium. Both come powered by a 78-kwh battery pack that’s integrated into the floor and helps add to chassis rigidity. The Polestar 2 hasn’t yet been rated for range in the U.S., but the company has targeted 275 miles in the EPA test.
Polestar has also said that it will be the first vehicle with an infotainment system built on the Android Automotive OS and offering native support to Google apps like Google Maps.
Google's Android-based infotainment in the Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 will cost $63,000 for its first-year Launch Edition. Separately, there will be a Performance Pack version of the Polestar 2 as well as lower-priced versions potentially under $50k but depending on the tariff situation. It also promises that, even in U.S. guise, the Polestar 2 will tow up to 3,300 pounds—a point that’s proven disappointing to those who’ve reserved a Tesla Model Y and found that it can’t tow.
As part of its update, Polestar also reported that temperature screenings of its workers and a thorough disinfecting of its factories, plus masks and medical checkups for all employees, has helped it avoid any cases of the disease for its teams in China.