As auto plants around the world shut down or shift to producing ventilators, Polestar, the performance EV brand owned by Volvo (which is in turn owned by Geely), announced that production of the Polestar 2 would begin this week at its plant in Luqiao, China.
The company is taking stringent health precautions: at the factory, work spaces are disinfected frequently, and workers are required to wear masks and undergo regular temperature screenings. Polestar says none of its workers in China has tested positive for COVID-19.
The global crisis has forced Polestar to alter its timeline. The company will sell its vehicles only online, and will offer customer subscriptions. It had planned to open 60 standalone showrooms in cities including Oslo, Los Angeles and Shanghai this year. That plan will now be delayed, but Polestar told TechCrunch that it will open some pop-up stores as soon as the situation improves.
The Polestar 2 electric fastback features all-wheel drive, 408 hp, 487 lb-ft of torque, a 78 kWh battery pack and a range of 292 miles (WLTP). It also sports an Android-powered infotainment system. Deliveries are to begin this summer, starting in Europe and followed by China and North America.
Polestar told TechCrunch that production will be in the “tens of thousands” of cars per year.
“We start production now under these challenging circumstances with a strong focus on the health and safety of our people,” said 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.”