The Polestar Electric Roadster Concept Might Just Be One of the Most Beautiful EVs Ever Made

The Polestar Electric Roadster Concept Might Just Be One of the Most Beautiful EVs Ever Made

On Monday night, I was invited by Polestar to come see its Electric Roadster Concept (some may know it as the O2). Throughout the event, the company reaffirmed its sustainability goals and announced a new ambassador for its global sustainability efforts.

But of course, the car was the star of the show, so while I will jump into Polestar’s sustainability talk further down, I also want to gush about this car for a bit. Just look at this beauty.

polestar O2
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

The Polestar Electric Roadster Concept (AKA: The Polestar 6)

This is a concept car. That means it’s only being released in very small numbers: only 500 in fact. Although the 500 models of this car have already been reserved, if a slot opens, you can snatch it for $US200,000 ($298,000 in Australia), according to Drive.

The point of the Electric Roadster Concept is actually to inspire and tease the design for the Polestar 6, which will also be an electric roadster released in 2026. Actually, right now, The concept car is the placeholder on Polestar’s page for the 2026 car.

polestar O2
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

In person, the design language doesn’t look at all similar to the Polestar 2, a car that we reviewed and loved. Lacking the muscle and bulk of the Polestar 2, the Electric Roadster Concept is an electric sportscar, with a lot of its shape owing to, in my opinion, Porsche, Nissan and Lamborghini.

In roadster fashion, the roof is retractable, letting you escape rainy days. Its rear vision is… Not terrific, but I’m assuming the Polestar 6 will have better side mirrors and more vision out the back (the concept car only has cameras for these blindspots).

polestar O2
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Its top speed is 250km/h, and it’s capable of 0-100km in 3.2 seconds. That is well above the 0-100 of the Polestar 2, which is 4.7 seconds. The car is also expected to have over 600km range, although this is still being worked on.

polestar O2
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Here are the backseats. They look a bit like an egg carton if you ask me.

polestar O2
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

And, even though it’s totally a track toy, Polestar placed a heavy focus on sustainability. The sides (and especially the back of the car) have been designed with drag and fuel efficiency in mind, which is fairly normal for an EV, but is rarely seen in roadster form.

Internally, the seats are made of a single base material: a highly recyclable thermoplastic, allowing the interior components to be easily broken down at the vehicle’s end of life, and the aluminium that has gone into the car’s unibody is labelled, to indicate what type it is and how best to recycle it.

Which is Polestar’s jam: sustainability.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Polestar’s vision for sustainability

If you’re unfamiliar, Polestar only does electric vehicles. It grew out of Volvo’s performance division of the same name and now designs cars separately. Volvo’s keen to focus on EVs too, and earlier this month, announced that it’d only sell EVs in Australia from 2026.

“We need to do a lot to really accelerate the growth of EVs,” Polestar managing director for Australia Samantha Johnson said during a presentation.

Polestar’s trying to create a climate-neutral vehicle by 2030, and half its company-wide emissions by the same year (along with halving life-time emissions for every car that is produced by 2040).

Johnson reflected on the company’s four pillars of sustainability (broadly being climate neutrality, circularity, transparency, and inclusion) during the presentation, but she also indicated that it’s not enough.

“What we’re all doing (in the car industry) is not good enough. We need to really get towards a climate-neutral vehicle,” Johnson said.

Also attending the event was Sam Elsom, an environmental activist and the CEO of Sea Forest, a company that’s cultivating an extremely rare form of Tasmanian seaweed as a livestock food source.

It was announced that Sam Elsom would be joining Polestar Australia as an official ambassador and partner.

Sam Elsom (left) and Samantha Johnson (right). Image: Polestar

Elsom’s company says that this seaweed that it farms, Asparagopsis, could lead to reductions of up to 98 per cent in cattle methane production (one of the major contributors to excess methane in the atmosphere).

“We’re another year closer to 2030 and we’re not that close in terms of where we need to get to in terms of our climate targets,” Elsom said broadly about international climate targets.

“We need to do a lot of the things that I think Polestar has sort of put forwards as their proposition by 2030.”

Mind you, there’s still a bit of criticism that the car industry hasn’t escaped yet as far as sustainability goes. One of the bigger criticisms against the car industry is the focus on SUVs and massive cars.

Polestar’s SUV future

Most carmakers have at least a couple of SUVs in their range, which makes sense because they’re the most popular form of car right now internationally, but they’re also not especially terrific for the environment, requiring more materials.

Polestar’s next two vehicles, the 3 and the 4, are both planned to be SUVs (one large SUV and one smaller SUV) as discussed during the evening, so even the sustainability-focused Polestar can’t really escape the trend towards bigger, larger road-demanding cars. The 5 will be a sedan, and the 6 will be a version of the earlier discussed Polestar Electric Roadster Concept.

“The Polestar 3 is a large luxury SUV and it’ll take Polestar up to the next level. More sustainability is being built into [the Polestar 3] and that’ll be here at the start of 2024,” Johnson added.

“Then probably towards the end of that year will be the Polestar 5 which is a mid-sized SUV.

“We’re establishing ourselves here for the long term and we hope to really lead the way and, you know, we are tangibly doing things that [we] hope the industry follows.”

Polestar is a very likeable company. An EV-focused brand creating cars with beautiful design aesthetics, the company positioned itself fairly early on as a ‘Tesla Competitor’ with its evenly-priced Polestar 2 (against the Tesla Model 3).

That kind of disruption is good for the electric vehicle industry, of course, but I’m hoping that we start to see a trend away from such big cars. I understand the need for them some have, however. Part of being sustainable is, of course, consuming less, after all.

This article has been updated since it was originally published. The ‘Polestar O2’ is now referred to as the ‘Electric Roadster Concept’. This article has been updated to reflect this.

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