Polestar Day: This Maverick Electric Carmaker Is Making Bold Plans

Polestar is commited to producing electric cars with net zero emissions goals by partnering with other innovative companies at the top of their fields. We saw their vision of the future on Polestar Day.

The Polestar 6 Electric Roadster And The Polestar 5 Were Also Featured. Photo: Patrick Anderson
The Polestar 6 electric roadster and the Polestar 5 were also featured. Photo: Patrick Anderson

Polestar Day Showcased the Electric Carmaker’s Commitment to the Future

For the past couple of years, you’ve only been likely to see an all-electric Polestar 2 cruising around with its distinctively straightforward yet futuristic styling, but Polestar has been busy building a lineup of new electric cars and an elaborate plan for the future that is worth noting. I, along with an ardent group of customers, press, and investors, got to learn all about this at the inaugural Polestar Day, which kicked off in Santa Monica, California.

Related: Polestar 2 EV: The Coolest Electric Car You Haven’t Heard of Yet

We Were Treated To In-Depth Presentations On Their Cars Materials Innovations And Partnerships On Polestar Day. Photo: Liv Leigh

We were treated to in-depth presentations on cars, materials innovations, and partnerships on Polestar Day. Photo: Liv Leigh

What is Polestar Day?

This group of electric enthusiasts, including myself, were treated to an exhibit of the entire Polestar lineup, brought together for the first time ever. The Polestar 2, 3, and 4, along with future/concept models, the Polestar 5, Polestar Precept, the Polestar Electric Roadster Concept and Polestar Synergy were the stars of the show. We were given test rides in their brand-spanking new Polestar 3 and 4. We had the opportunity to hear directly from Subject Matter Experts and Engineers. And it was amazing. The vibe felt steeped in both innovation and collaboration, and there was a ton to digest.

Related: Polestar 2: Bold and Beautiful Electric Moves 

Storedot Ceo Dr Doron Myersdorf Demoed Their Fast Charging Battery Cell Tech. Photo: Liv Leigh

StoreDot CEO Dr. Doron Myersdorf demoed their fast-charging battery cell tech. Photo: Liv Leigh

Quelling Electric Anxiety

Range anxiety and charging anxiety are some of the most talked about concerns regarding owning an EV. Polestar is tackling this by partnering with Israeli startup, StoreDot to incorporate their battery technology.

StoreDot is a pioneer of silicon-based battery design, and they have dubbed their XFC (Extreme Fast Charging) as 100-in-5, meaning that their battery can add 100 miles of range in 5 minutes. At that rate, the average EV could be fully charged in less than 15 minutes.

Related: 8 Reasons Why an Electric Car Can Fit Your Lifestyle

This Polestar 5 Prototype Will Test Storedot Fast Charging Technology. Photo: Liv Leigh

This Polestar 5 prototype will test StoreDot’s fast charging technology. Photo: Liv Leigh

The Future is Fast Charging Batteries

StoreDot CEO Dr. Doron Myersdorf demoed this tech with Polestar’s prototype battery module integrated with XFC technology. We watched the battery climb from 10% to 84% while tracking the current, temperature, and voltage. The temperature held steady pretty much the whole time, which is a really good sign. Doron assured the crowd that the battery would not be degraded from fast charging like lithium-ion batteries are. If you don’t know, frequent fast charging of your electric car’s battery can contribute to some battery degradation, so this is a big win.

StoreDot’s tech can be incorporated into current battery pack formats and doesn’t require a redesign so it’s likely we will see other automakers partnering on this soon too, but, Polestar is the first. To start off, they will be testing this in 2024 in a Polestar 5 prototype.

The Polestar 4 Has The Lowest Carbon Footprint Of Any Polestar To Date. Photo: Polestar

The Polestar 4 has the lowest carbon footprint of any Polestar to date. Photo: Polestar

Climate Neutrality

Polestar is working on a project called Polestar 0, which aims to create a car that has zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout its entire lifecycle by 2030. This means that the car won’t produce any emissions throughout the entire vehicle lifecycle, from “conception to customer delivery.” Polestar is committed to doing this without relying on offsetting, which is a way of reducing emissions by planting trees or investing in renewable energy projects. Instead, they’re developing new technologies and materials that will make it possible to create a truly climate-neutral car. But how will they do that?

Well, they are being super deliberate with this goal and have the process mapped out:

  • Research 2021-2025
  • Applied Science 2025-2027
  • Product Development 2027-2030

Polestar revealed that their new 4 has the lowest carbon footprint of all models to date. Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at Polestar, said, “To support our net zero goal, we set carbon budgets for all our cars. Throughout the product development of Polestar 4, its carbon budget has influenced everything from material choices to factory energy sources.” They proudly showed off some of those material choices and innovations for us to learn about.

Head Of Color And Materials Maria Uggla Shared About Her Passion For Polestars Sustainable Design. Photo: Patrick Anderson

Head of Color and Materials Maria Uggla shared about her passion for Polestar’s sustainable design. Photo: Patrick Anderson

Recycled Materials

Polestar showcased their partnership with Swiss firm Bcomp, experts in bio-based, high-performance materials. I was able to chat with Maria Uggla, Polestar’s Head of Color and Materials, and hear about how they’ve taken Bcomp’s sustainable flax composite and utilized it as a lightweight, sustainable replacement for interior parts that are usually plastic. It was then that I learned what is perhaps the most important concept of Polestar Day, succinctly stated by Maria:

“We would like to share the journey and share the challenge. It doesn’t make sense if we go alone.”

Maria is an accomplished Industrial Designer with decades of experience in the automotive industry, specifically with Volvo and Polestar. Her involvement is an asset and an inspiration, and hearing her speak truly drives forward Polestar’s commitment to a collaborative solution to addressing climate change.

“We don’t do vague, and we don’t do greenwashing,” she said emphatically.

“We would like to be completely transparent. Everything needs to be sustainable, and we want to push the industry. We are in a world of climate disaster, and we need to take climate action. We would like to share the journey and share the challenge. It doesn’t make sense if we go alone.”

Related: What’s it Like Driving the Volvo EX 30 Electric SUV?

Luminar Founder Austin Russell Stepped On Stage And Demoed Luminar Tech At The Same Time. Photo:liv Leigh

Luminar Founder Austin Russell stepped on stage and demonstrated Luminar tech at the same time. Photo: Liv Leigh

Hands-off Eyes-off Driving

Autonomous driving can feel like something for the far distant future, but it’s coming. Polestar is partnering with leaders in Autonomous Driving and LiDAR technology, Mobileye and Luminar, to take autonomous driving to the next level. Out of the box, Polestar 4’s will come with Mobileye’s SuperVision Advanced Driving Assistance to be expanded upon into Mobileye Chauffeur and layered with Luminar’s technology to provide multiple levels of redundancy to ensure a truly safe, autonomous system.

This partnership is extra exciting since each of these companies individually provides the absolute top tier of their industry. It’s reassuring to see an automaker collaborating with outside experts instead of trying to reinvent the wheel themselves, so to speak. Luminar CEO and Founder, Austin Russell, stepped up to the stage to speak at Polestar day, and we were all treated to a psychedelic glimpse of Luminar technology as their LiDAR mapped out the room and we watched Austin’s colorful figure make its way to the stage.

Lidar Bump Visible On The Top Of This Polestar 3. Photo: Liv Leigh

The LiDAR bump is visible on the top of this Polestar 3. Photo: Liv Leigh

Virtual Power Plant

I don’t know about you, but my car spends way more time parked than it does being driven. In fact, studies have shown that most cars are parked for up to 90% of their lifetime. Polestar is working on a plan to take advantage of that fact. They’re doing this by utilizing bidirectional charging technology, referred to as V2G, which stands for Vehicle to Grid. This is a feature that is built into some new electric cars that allows the battery to flow power from the vehicle back to the grid instead of the other way around. A feature like this can be incredibly helpful in times of a power outage, for example.

Polestar is taking V2G to the next level with Virtual Power Plant (VPP), which will seamlessly integrate parked Polestar 3 electric cars into the grid, transforming them into a collective energy resource. By harnessing the power of connected EV batteries, the cloud-based VPP will manage charging and discharging cycles to optimize grid demand and battery longevity. This will empower owners to actively participate in the energy transition and generate revenue from their parked vehicles without having to do anything other than plug in. Polestar will be dipping its toes into this endeavor with a pre-study in California starting at the end of 2023 and one in Gothenburg, Sweden starting in 2024.

The Polestar 3 And 4 Were The Stars Of The Show. Photo: Liv Leigh

The Polestar 3 and 4 were the stars of the show. Photo: Liv Leigh

The Tech Almost Overshadowed the Cars… Almost

Along with all their tech and collaborations, Polestar is, of course, packaging this all together into some sweet new cars. Their new SUV designs, the Polestar 3 and 4, were the stars of the show, looking just as flashy perched on gleaming white podiums inside the cavernous airplane hanger as they did cruising through the nearby streets as we were treated to test rides.

The Polestar 6 Electric Roadster And The Polestar 5 Were Also Featured. Photo: Patrick Anderson

The Polestar 6 electric roadster and the Polestar 5 were also featured. Photo: Patrick Anderson

Polestar is Providing So Many Electric Thrills

The event left me (and others I heard from) with tingles of excitement for the future. Polestar’s vision is not a singular one, and they invite other brands along for the journey, both to share expertise and to mutually shoulder the burden of addressing the climate crisis together. It’s bolstering to see a company be realistic about its impact and contribution. I’m excited to see how Polestar keeps evolving and to see the continued impact they have on their sphere of influence.

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An enthusiastic supporter of everything she’s passionate about, Liv got her first Electric Car and immediately made a YouTube... More about Liv Leigh