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Polestar CEO on the EV automaker's new cars

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Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the automaker's new 3-year plan

Video transcript

Polestar, the latest EV Automaker coming to market via SPAC is launching its new Polestar 3 SUV in 2022. And they're dropping a sneak peek of it here today in New York City.

We've got the Polestar CEO with us, Thomas Ingenlath, excuse me, joins us now, along with Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian. And Thomas, thank you for joining us here. We want to get some visuals on your car. But first, can you tell us a little bit about this SPAC merger that you're about to complete and finally list?

THOMAS INGANLATH: Yeah, right. Well, we obviously found what we consider the ideal partner, somebody who's really experienced in doing successful SPACs. And Gores Guggenheim is certainly together with us on on that track. We make sure that we deliver on what we promised. And yeah, next-- 2022 in the first half, we should finish this process.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey Tom, it's Pras here. So you also talked about your three year business plan, a number of cars coming out in the next three years. Talk to us about that and how important that is for your sort of game plan for coming on globally and taking on some of the big competitors in the space.

THOMAS INGANLATH: Yeah, OK. These next three years, of course, will be crucial. We have quite an ambitious program here. Three new cars in the starting blocks, 2022, '23, '24, that's quite an intense time. Product portfolio, and together with the market expansion, these two elements will be the key enabler for us to really do what is the idea to go from what is this year round 29,000 cars to 290,000 cars in 2025. So that expansion, of course, is very much connected to this business plan. Product portfolio growth and market.

- What's the price point going to be for those of us who, one, want to compliment you on how stunning these vehicles are. But two, I mean, there are competitive EVs out there right now that sell for around $40,000, $45,000. So the new EVs that you'll build on the East Coast of the United States, where would we look at coming in if we wanted to buy one?

THOMAS INGANLATH: Well, the price in which the brand mostly operates and office is, indeed, quite well-defined now with the two cars that we have on the road, starting around $40,000, actually below $40,000 with the Polestar 2. And going all the way up to a price ticket of $150,000 [AUDIO OUT]. The cars that we're launching now, Polestar 3, 4, and 5 in the next three years, will be positioned in this price span.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I wanted to ask you about the Polestar 3 that you guys teased earlier today. It's going to be an electric SUV. And that's the one that's going to be built in the US. Is that correct? I wanted to talk to you about that. And also how you're going to increase your operating leverage with more cars built on these factories that you guys can kind of work in an asset-light way.

THOMAS INGANLATH: Yeah, Polestar 3. We launch Polestar 3 next year. And this will be a car produced in the US, for the US. It's that idea of Polestar 2 leverage on what is existing not only on technology platforms in the group, but very much of course, the manufacturing footprint.

We don't have to build factories from scratch for Polestar. We can go where the technology is implemented. And Charleston, South Carolina, that's where the future EV technology, which will be underpinning Polestar 3, will be installed. And this is where we're going to produce this Polestar 3.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, Tom, it's Polestar 5. You know, a couple of years ago we spoke about the Polestar 1 in person. And is the Polestar 5 going to be the next halo car for the brand? Is that going to be the the pinnacle for you guys, from an engineering point of view?

THOMAS INGANLATH: It is absolutely a special car for us. Because it was clear that show car precept, to make that reality and bring that into production, we have to go that extra mile and really develop that aluminum-bonded sports car architecture to make it possible to have that exciting proportions. And that really is the promise of power and performance make make it reality. It's absolutely a special pinnacle product for Polestar.

- Where do you fall in the competition to help us with range anxiety? I know there's one luxury EV maker is already promising, it's a more expensive vehicle, but a range of over 500 miles.

THOMAS INGANLATH: Well, you see, there is, of course, a hygiene factor in terms of range. You have to fulfill a range that is, let's say, minimum 300 miles. And in the future, 400 miles. At some point you have to question, does adding more miles to it really make sense? Or the question a different one? I think customers really need a sufficient charging infrastructure. No one is-- be dependent on having the biggest battery, and the longest range in the world, there's this wasteful use of resources. The second that you have a reliable charging infrastructure, you can do a much more meaningful implementation of battery size and range into an electric car.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey, Thomas, it's Pras. One more last question here. So you guys are kind of projecting 290,000 vehicles out by 2025. I also saw in your investor deck, you talked about robotaxis and autonomous sort of tech capabilities for your vehicles. But also with the car working on its own for its owners, is that really something you guys are pushing? Is that realistic in terms of hitting that robotaxi fleet, like Tesla wants to do?

THOMAS INGANLATH: We have to look at it in two ways. For the private consumer, the autonomous drive arena really will start with billing on the highway and being able to switch on that autonomous highway piloting. You can relax, do whatever you want to do in that time. But of course, it's not the journey from A to Z that you do autonomously.

Having said that, the other world, which today is dominated by taxi by the Ubers, yes, there will be autonomous A to Z transportation. And we strictly believe that will not be just an anonymous bus type of shuttle service.

It will be, as well, a private chauffers type of autonomous offer. And here we see a branded experience. For example, a Polestar that is equipped with redundant technology and capable of carrying such a system, that will be an ideal car of a premium, luxurious, autonomous chauffeur services.

- We want to leave it there. But thank you for stopping by and sharing your beautiful cars with us. Also congratulations on your SPAC merger. Thomas Ingenlath and Pras Subramanian, thank you for joining.

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