The 408-HP All-Electric Polestar 2 Starts Production in China at Probably the Worst Possible Time

Perhaps that's why there are only four people in these photos.

Polestar

While most American and European car factories grind to a halt as COVID-19 washes over western populaces, Chinese factories are gradually rebooting production, with the worst seemingly past for some parts of the country. One such plant in operation today is that of Volvo's electric luxury offshoot Polestar, which confirmed Monday that its first electric sedan, the Polestar 2, has entered production in Luqiao, China.

Equipped with a 78-kWh battery pack, the Polestar 2 has a targeted driving range of 275 miles (EPA) on a full charge, enough to compete with some variants of the Tesla Model 3. Though the Polestar 2 could eventually compete with the Model 3 on price point, for now, it will only do so on the performance front, where it doesn't show up to the proverbial gunfight with a knife. A robust 408 horsepower, 487 pound-feet of torque, and all-wheel drive give the Polestar 2 the ability to leap from zero to 60 in just 4.7 seconds.

Polestar undoubtedly pursues Tesla's techie customer base with the 2's infotainment system, which runs on Android and offers voice-controlled Google programs such as Google Assistant, Google Maps, and even access to the Google Play Store—Tesla soon may find itself with competition in the field of in-car video gaming.

Polestar is already contacting reservation holders to organize production spec and lay the groundwork for 2 deliveries, which are scheduled to commence this summer. Europe gets first dibs on the Polestar 2, though the American and Chinese markets are next in line to receive deliveries.

"The world is facing enormous upheaval in the face of the coronavirus pandemic/ We start production now under these challenging circumstances with a strong focus on the health and safety of our people," stated Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "This is a great achievement and the result of huge efforts from the staff in the factory and the team securing the supply chain. I have a huge amount of respect for the entire team—thanks to them!"

The automaker executive is right. China is just beginning to ease some of the tensions inflicted by the novel virus, but with Europe and North America beginning to get hammered by city lockdowns and factory shutdowns, it's difficult to think that many people will be lining up to buy new cars anytime soon—especially fancy, pricey EVs.

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