Drivers who are “scared of change” are part of the EV adoption problem, says Polestar’s CEO.

Drivers who are “scared of change” are part of the EV adoption problem, says Polestar’s CEO.

Polestar Porsche's Tesla

Polestar, the maker of the all-electric Polestar 2 fastback and Polestar 3 crossover, only builds battery-powered cars, which has made some analysts and enthusiasts nickname the company “Europe’s Tesla,” even though the cars are made in China.

Last year, the Geely-owned EV maker delivered roughly 54,500 cars worldwide, which isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s worth noting that the bulk share was represented by the Polestar 2. With more cars in the pipeline, the automaker is hoping to turn its fortunes around starting this year, but some striking remarks from its CEO might make that job a bit harder.

According to Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s head honcho, quoted by The Telegraph, people who are scared of change are to blame for the slowdown in the EV adoption growth rate.

“To tell you the truth, I think that [it’s about] being open for innovation and the future technology,” he said when asked why people seemed to lose interest in EVs. “I see far too many people hesitating with that and being scared of change. That is just not a good recipe for the future,” the company’s CEO added.

And while it’s true that people aren’t buying as many EVs as some companies thought they would, putting the blame on the consumer isn’t exactly fair. Especially since industry data has shown time and time again that the main reasons why people aren’t buying more EVs are the high purchase price, spotty charging infrastructure, and range anxiety.

There’s also a lack of EV-related education about things like how to precondition an EV battery, what battery types there are out there and what are their advantages and disadvantages, maintenance, and more.

At the same time, however, Polestar’s CEO said that rival carmakers who are slowing down their EV rollout plants–names like General MotorsMercedes-Benz, and Ford, among others–are falling into a trap because launching a new product at short notice is very hard to do.

“There’s an incredible threat and danger if you don’t embrace future innovation and believe in that technology–the electric drivetrains, the innovation in battery, the innovation in modern electronics and software,” Ingenlath said for The Telegraph. “If you don’t participate in that and think you can wait, and customers are ready for it, it’s an incredible trap,” he added.

It’s worth noting that Polestar only makes all-electric cars and because of this, its CEO is of the opinion that electric propulsion is a superior technology to combustion engines. “It’s not a question of being electric or being combustion engine: this is a question of who has that convincing, great product. I definitely think that is worth the battle and we will win this.”

Thomas Ingenlath’s remarks came after Polestar secured a $1 billion lending lifeline from banks. This happened after Volvo, which had a controlling hand in Polestar, decided to transfer a portion of its 48% stake to parent company Geely. That said, Polestar has said it needs $1.3 billion in funding to reach its goal of breaking even by 2025, which means it needs an additional $350 million in funding.

The company lost $1 billion in 2021 and another $1.3 billion in 2022, while the first nine months of 2023 saw a loss of $735 million, according to the Swedish-based company’s latest earnings report.

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