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Polestar CEO Calls Out Posers on the EV Market, Asks for Focus on Climate Change

Polestar is coming for the EV posers. At the ongoing 2021 Auto Shanghai, which saw the premiere of a special edition of the 1, the company’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath spoke against EV startups whose primary focus is a high market valuation and not making actual electric vehicles.
The special edition of the Polestar 1 revealed at 2021 Auto Shanghai 1 photo
Ingenlath’s speech strikes a very special chord if you consider that today, April 22, is Earth Day. And what Earth needs—and badly so—is less pollution and less reliance on fossil fuels. Electric cars would solve that problem. If only EV startups actually focused on building them.

Speaking about the current trend of startups without a single product being worth hundreds of millions on the stock market, Ingenlath said the focus needs to shift. Not for the investors, but for the people running these startups.

“What is at stake here is not how much financiers think a company is worth, but the chance to revolutionize the auto industry, turn it electric and at the same time make a huge contribution to protecting the climate,” Ingenlath said at the event. “Put against these important themes, a market valuation is a very insubstantial and meaningless marker of success. It frankly amazes me that there are companies out there that are worth billions of dollars and have never made a car.”

The electric revolution we’ve been hearing about for years needs to happen, but to do so, it has to be grounded in reality, not dreams. Or, as the rest of the world calls them, vaporware.

On a slightly more positive note, Ingenlath conceded that the automotive industry is at a tipping point, with only gains to be had on the other side. It is, according to the CEO, “now in a position to make the most significant contribution to positive climate change in history.”

Polestar is a joint venture by Geely and Volvo and has produced two vehicles since 2017, when it was founded: the Polestar 1, a hybrid, and the 2, a fully electric sedan.

Editor's note: For all the new models launched at the Chinese show this year, check out our extended coverage of Auto Shanghai 2021.

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