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Polestar 1 Crash Test Shows a Carbon Fiber Body Is Just as Good as a Steel One

Polestar, the Volvo spinoff company in charge with building of electrified vehicles, is hard at work making its first model, the 1, ready for the world’s roads. With the first 34 prototypes already rolling off assembly lines for testing purposes, Polestar began announcing its initial findings this week.
Polestar 1 crashes against barrier 1 photo
As part of the development program, Polestar 1 vehicles were subjected to crash tests in recent weeks, at Volvo’s Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, The goal was to see how a carbon fiber body reacts to a full frontal impact with a stationary barrier at 56 km/h (38 mph).

Theoretically, a carbon fiber body shatters and crack when impacted, as a means of dissipating energy. For contrast, a steel construction bends to absorb energy. Both materials, Volvo found, work just as good.

According to the findings of the crash tests, most of the impact energy was absorbed by the car’s crash structure. What was left of it was dissipated by the carbon fiber body panels into the body structure. The structure remained rigid and did not show signs of bending or misalignment after the crash.

“We were really excited about this crash test. The first crash test of Polestar 1 has been about exploring the unknown,” said in a statement Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO.

“This was a crucial proof point in the development of Polestar 1; we had to know that the ideas and calculations that have gone into building this car were right – and they were.”

Polestar 1 will start rolling off assembly lines for customers next year. In the U.S, the car is priced at $155,000 and can be reserved by making a $2,500 deposit.

It comes powered by a hybrid powertrain comprising two 34 kWh batteries, two electric motors on the rear axle and an internal combustion engine.

With 600 horsepower and 1,000 Nm of torque on tap, the Polestar 1 can drive in electric mode for about 150 kilometers (93 miles), more than any other plug-in hybrid currently on the market.

press release

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