Drivers are avoiding electric vehicles because they are “afraid of change”, according to the head of European car company Polestar.
Thomas Ingenlath, chief executive of the manufacturer since it became an independent brand in 2017, also urged manufacturers to avoid the “trap” of reducing their production of electric vehicles after figures showed sales of electric vehicles are falling. decelerating.
Volvo, which bought Polestar when it was a racing team participating in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, recently withdrew its support for Mr Ingenlath’s company.
The brand, often called the “Tesla of Europe”, has since secured emergency backing of $1bn (£750m) from a consortium of 12 banks, reportedly still leaving the company $350 million less to break even.
The company has been suffering huge losses in recent years, including $1 billion and $1.3 billion respectively in 2021 and 2022, despite receiving public support from high-profile names, including Leonardo DiCaprio.
Drivers are avoiding electric vehicles because they are “afraid of change”, according to the head of European car company Polestar, Thomas Ingenlath (pictured)
Since then, the brand, often called the “Tesla of Europe”, has secured emergency backing of $1bn (£750m) from a consortium of 12 banks, reportedly still leaving the company $350 million less to break even (pictured: Polestar 2). electric vehicle)
“There is an incredible threat and danger if you don’t embrace future innovation and believe in that technology: electric drivetrains, battery innovation, modern electronics and software innovation,” Mr. Ingenlath said. The Telegraph.
“If you don’t participate in that and you think you can wait and that customers are ready for it, it’s an incredible trap.”
The EV chief’s comments come amid declining demand for EVs.
On Thursday, MailOnline revealed that carmakers from Mercedes-Benz to Ford were delaying or scrapping more electric vehicles.
Earlier this week, Apple canceled work on its electric car project called Titan and Aston Martin delayed the launch of its first battery electric vehicle (BEV) until 2026.
Mercedes-Benz delayed its electrification goal last week, while Ford said it is reconsidering its electric vehicle strategies and Volkswagen delayed the launch of an upcoming electric vehicle. And in recent months, Audi and General Motors have also revised their electric vehicle launches.
Purchases of new electric cars by private buyers fell by 25 per cent over a year in January, latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed.
And forecasts showed BEVs will take a 21 percent market share this year, down from a 22 percent estimate in October and the 23 percent expected a year ago.
Polestar’s electric cars are available for between £45,000 and £80,000, making them more expensive than Tesla’s vehicles – the US manufacturer’s Model 3 sedan (pictured) starts at £40,000
Aston Martin delayed the launch of the battery-powered vehicle from 2025 to 2026. It still plans to deliver its first plug-in hybrid supercar, the Valhalla (pictured), later this year.
High interest rates are among the reasons behind a slowdown in demand for generally more expensive electric vehicles, which can be up to £10,000 more expensive than their petrol or diesel equivalents, prompting the industry to cut jobs. and reduce production.
The SMMT has called for greater investment in public infrastructure for electric vehicles, stating that the lack of charging points “remains the biggest obstacle to faster rollout”.
In recent weeks, shares of traditional automakers have outperformed those of their electric counterparts, as investors respond to companies’ decisions to prioritize higher-margin gasoline-powered models over pure battery vehicles.
Slowing demand for electric vehicles suggests the transition from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles will take longer than expected.
But German-born Ingenlath added that the lack of manufacturers entering the electric market represents a big opportunity for Polestar.
He said: “It’s an incredible opportunity for Polestar that, in that performance car sector, there actually isn’t that much competition.”
Mercedes-Benz will present its E400e 4Matic model in Munich in September 2023. Last Thursday, the German automaker delayed its electrification goal by five years
Audi said in December that it was reviewing the launch of its electric vehicles so that it does not “overwhelm the team and the dealers.” The Q6 e-tron (pictured) has been delayed due to software issues
In 2022, the “Tesla of Europe” was listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a value of around £11.5bn, but the company has since lost 60 per cent of its value having failed to meet its production targets.
Polestar had to reduce its annual delivery promise from 155,000 to 60,000 last year.
The company’s electric cars are available for between £45,000 and £80,000, making them more expensive than Tesla’s vehicles: the US manufacturer’s Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV start at around £40,000 and £45,000 respectively. .
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