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Buying a Polestar EV happens in gallery spaces with fixed prices and a giant tabletop screen

It’s been three weeks since the opening of the world’s first so-called Polestar Space, where the Swedish brand will sell electric performance vehicles. A couple of new (rough) videos like this one reveal the customer experience, which Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath explained a few weeks ago.

The main features are fixed pricing and a table-like kiosk for ordering. Product specialists guide you through the process but do not work on commission.

RFID technology allows customers to see selections made on the table projected on nearby screens. After the selections are made, the order is transmitted Airdrop-style to consumers with compatible phones. Although it was not evident from the videos, Polestar Spaces promise to provide an immersive VR experience to see your trim choices come alive.

Polestar Space tabletop ordering

Ingenlath explained:

We have spaces in city centers, where there is a gallery exhibition type of flair. There are not a lot of cars. Just one Polestar 1 and one Polestar 2.

Your purchase will be through clicking on your mobile and making that purchase there. It is not the dealership type of situation where you sign a contract. Our prices are fixed.

The Polestar space, on the other hand, gives you a chance to go and experience the car. You can take a test drive and speak to the experts. Those experts are not commission-based, so they don’t want to push that car on you.

He said that by the end of 2020, there would be 50 to 60 retail Polestar spaces worldwide: 20 in China, 25 in Europe, and 15 in North America. The first Polestar Space in the Americas will be in Montreal.

The Polestar EV tabletop kiosk for choosing your vehicle

In the EV market in Norway, electric cars in October represented 35.7% of Norway’s total vehicle sales, with the Audi E-Tron as the No. 1-selling vehicle (not just for EVs). The Tesla Model 3 had a dip in October to only 121 units, but is expected to bounce back to being one of the most popular models.

The field of EVs sold in these numbers last month: Audi E-Tron (873); Volkswagen e-Golf (740); Nissan Leaf (518); BMW i3 (317); Jaguar I-PACE (175); Tesla Model 3 (121); Hyundai Kona Electric (123); Renault ZOE (93); Tesla Model X (29); and Tesla Model S (18).

The experience at the Polestar Space is very different than what I saw in February 2019 at the Birger N. Haug Nissan dealership in Oslo, the country’s top seller of EVs. The style of that dealership would be very familiar to American car buyers. By contrast, the Polestar Space is more like a Tesla showroom.

the Birger N. Haug Nissan dealership in Oslo is a big seller of Nissan LEAFs and Kona EVs

Birger N. Haug Nissan dealership in Oslo

EVs in Norway are exempt from VAT. Suleman Idris, the sales manager at the Nissan-Hyundai dealership, told me that the tax represents about one-third of the total cost of a gas car. Removing the tax for EVs brings a battery-powered vehicle to parity with gas and diesel vehicles.

The 78 kilowatt-hour Polestar 2, the brand’s first pure EV, will sell in Norway for 469,000 NOK ­— the equivalent of about $51,000. It will be stacked up against the Model 3, which sells at a starting price of 384,900 NOK, or $42,000. But after adding options to the Model 3, the two vehicles are expected to be comparably priced. 

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Avatar for Bradley Berman Bradley Berman

Bradley writes about electric cars, autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and other tech that’s transforming society. He contributes to The New York Times, SAE International, Via magazine, Popular Mechanics, MIT Technology Review, and others.