Industry 4.0 means even our cars are connected to the Internet of Everything. Autonomous cars and AI and Volvo’s new Polestar takes us one step closer to a world where storing, maintaining, and powering your car is someone else’s problem.

Since 2003, Tesla has been one of the premier names in electric cars, consistently putting up strong numbers and turning heads year over year. Toyota, Mazda, and other car makers all have hybrid car offerings now. However, nothing compared to the luxury and performance of a Tesla has been scaled to large-scale production until now.

If you just want to know which electric vehicle is the fastest, check out this article.

The electric version of Volvo’s Polestar model intends to disrupt this monopoly on environmentally-friendly and fun-to-drive cars. Yet, why stop at disruption?

Polestar hasn’t. If it even partly delivers on its promised features and services, this car could revolutionize the industry entirely as we move toward an automated future.

Volvo's Subscription Service: The Future of Cars?Click To Tweet

An Electric Car With Racing Roots That Seriously Performs

image of Polestar grill by Volvo for article on new electric car Polestar 1 and how it disrupts Tesla market for Industry 4.0
Polestar via MotorTrend

Revealed at a formal Volvo event in Shanghai in October, the Polestar series will be assembled in Chengdu, China. More importantly: the new line aims to expand their electric offerings with either hybrid or fully electric models in 2019.

The classic cyan racing blue of the Polestar might be familiar to fans of the racing circuit in Europe. Purchased in 2015, Polestar Performance and Volvo developed a new model focused specifically on performance, appropriately named: Polestar 1. The entirely electric version, the Polestar 2, is slated for a late 2019 release.

The support of traditional manufacturing pipelines supports a limited release of only 500 vehicles. Volvo aims to avoid the production woes of the Tesla Model 3, which has seen multiple delays.

Performance & Prowess

How much performance does the Polestar have?

It is loaded with 600 horsepower.

Yes. You read that right: 600 HP.

The coupe body style is sleek and stylish with a swooping, upward motion the Tesla Model 3 lacks. The Polestar 2 will compete with the Tesla model 3 for an affordable electric car while the Polestar 1 joins upscale brand brethren like Jaguar‘s I-Pace and the BMW i3.

The difference: Volvo says that the Polestar 1 has the longest range of any electric vehicle when running just off of electric power. It can go 93 miles or 153 kilometers per charge. As a result of the gasoline-hybrid powertrain and multiple engines, consumers reap bonus performance benefits.

You even get to keep a little bit of the racing model. Due to a reduction in steel usage, more of the car’s frame is constructed with carbon fiber. This means that drivers experience decreased weight and increased performance.

The Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension also sets it apart from the Tesla model 3. It allows the driver to change the suspension on the fly based on driving conditions (like you would one of the new Jeep models). The interior features classic Volvo traits and engineering including the Sensus Connect (Volvo’s infotainment system).

Elon Musk’s Electric Throne In Peril

The Polestar 2 release competes directly with the Tesla model 3, overshadowing Elon Musk’s initial genius in light of one of the worst quarters for Tesla.

What’s most curious about the Polestar 1 is that it will be available exclusively as a subscription-based model. What’s coolest about it: the car also features a phone-as-key function.

This enables you to afford certain individuals access to the car using your smartphone. Again, this revolves around the “subscription” service which begs the question: who really owns the car?

Despite this question, the Polestar line is the next step in how we interact with cars and dealerships. Not only are they integrating updated technology, practical features, performance, and buying options, Volvo is looking to the future.

The End of Traditional Dealerships?

Volvo implemented their concierge service (formerly Luxe) earlier this year. Naturally, any Polestar subscription includes this service. The subscription includes this service along with maintenance and insurance. Car pickup and dropoff is also included and car orders will take place online.  

image of Duncan Forrester for Volvo Polestar release in article on electric cars and disruption of Tesla market
Duncan Forrester in Shanghai | Andreas Hillergren | Polestar

“Retail experience centers” similar to Tesla’s will become more common once Volvo launches the Polestar line. Combined with the other proposed features, this has huge implications. Could Volvo eliminate traditional dealerships?

An even more disruptive question: is this the end of rental cars? The included concierge service will drop off a new car for you at your destination and retrieve the old one from where you flew off. This means that you would never need to rent again. 

The phone-based key app enables you to unlock any car if you have the right permissions. Included maintenance and insurance means that this process is nearly hassle-free. You will be able to get off a plane and have an environmentally-friendly and super fast car waiting for you without needing to manage any logistics.

How could a subscription-based model like this be the future of cars?

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