Polestar CEO defends the Polestar 2’s recall and 233-mile EPA rating
Polestar is a young automaker that emerged from Volvo and Geely. Now, just four years old, it has two cars on the market with more to come soon. Like many startups, the company is weathering early storms emanating from government regulators and early recalls.
Earlier this week, the EPA released their results on the Polestar 2's electric range and certified it can travel 233 miles on a fee. That's about 90 miles less than the competing Tesla Model 3. Read our first impressions here.
Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar, spoke at TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility shortly after the EPA published its range guidance. In short, he said Polestar knows drivers are seeing real results that are beyond the reach of the EPA.
"We know what the car is actually doing," said Ingenlath. "We know in reality that a very big difference in real life can't be that big a difference. We think that this is definitely enough for everyday life as an electric vehicle. It's one of our versions and we're going to add 2 different variants to the Polestar who will have a higher EPA [rating]. I think [the range] is absolutely in line with competing electric vehicles, which is really good for you 365 days a year. "
The Polestar 2 outperforms the Tesla Model 3 in terms of drivability and driving pleasure
Ingenlath admits that his company doesn't outperform Tesla in range, but rather promotes real-world comparisons. What looks like a big difference on paper is much less in practice. And he says a longer range version is on the way.
"Next year, in 2021, we plan to bring out a single engine version," said Ingenlath. "This of course offers a better range with the same battery. And of course we will have software improvements along the way that achieve more efficiency with the same battery with kilowatt hours."
"We're on a journey," he said. "Here we start and it gets better month by month."
Ingenlath also addressed the recent full recall of the Polestar 2 for vehicles that stopped abruptly while in motion. "This has happened on very, very rare occasions," he said, adding that only 2,200 Polestar 2 are in the market and none of the reported cases have occurred in the US. None of the affected vehicles was involved in an accident.
The problem will be solved with a software update.
"We have to learn a lot and improve as a company," said Ingenlath. "We're a startup that's fresh. And of course you can't expect everything to go smoothly. We have to improve and our customers have to go with us. And I think it's a really great standard for the auto industry to be in fact." Called back very early to make sure nobody gets into a problem. "
He says he doesn't see a big problem with the early recall. Instead, he is now focused on making sure the company provides great customer service when interacting with a Polestar 2 owner in connection with the recall.
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