INTERNATIONAL - Volvo Cars’ luxury performance brand Polestar unveiled online its first fully electric sedan on Wednesday, with a price and driving range to rival Tesla’s mass market Model 3.
The Polestar 2 will cost about 59,900 euros ($68,100) for its launch edition and can be driven for around 275 miles before it needs recharging - broadly in line with the Model 3’s current price in Europe of 58,800 euros and 260 miles range.
The Model 3 and Polestar 2 are cheaper than most of the electric models launched by traditional premium carmakers so far, as Tesla and Polestar bet mass market customers are on the verge of adopting battery technology. Both have also promised even lower prices later on.
Polestar’s launch comes as Tesla is trying to ramp up Model 3 sales in Europe and China, where recent government subsidies and programs are boosting the take up of electric vehicles. A cut in subsidies in the United States, in contrast, in dampening demand in the Californian start-up’s home market.
Tesla was dealt a setback this month after influential U.S. magazine Consumer Reports withdrew its endorsement for the Model 3, citing reliability problems. Analysts say Polestar has strong engineering as it is built on the Volvo platform.