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Monday, October 3, 2022
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How Al-Futtaim is putting electric vehicles into Pole position

Jonathan Pollock, Regional Managing Director of Emerging Brands at Al-Futtaim Trading Enterprises on the firm's ambitions for its partnership with premium electric car brand Polestar

As an EV manufacturer with sustainability at the core of its ethos, Polestar is a global leader in sustainable mobility. According to its second Annual Review and Sustainability Report, in 2021 Polestar reduced greenhouse gas-emissions per car sold by 6%* through its focus on increased efficiency and use of renewable energy.

Last year also saw the launch of the Polestar 0 project – Polestar’s moonshot goal to create a truly climate-neutral car by 2030 – which was announced in the company’s first annual review, published in April 2021.

The Polestar 0 project aims to cut carbon emissions by changing the way that cars are made, rather than using traditional processes and then planting trees to offset CO2 The approach aims to encompass collaboration across the entire development process and value chain, from suppliers to retailers.

The project targets what Polestar can measure and control: zero carbon emissions in the production of the car, delivery to customer, and end-of-life. The use phase of an electric car can already today be close to climate-neutral if the car is charged with renewable energy.

The Swedish premium electric car brand teamed up with Al-Futtaim Automotive to launch its compact fastback, the Polestar 2, earlier this year, and Jonathan Pollock, Regional Managing Director of Emerging Brands at Al-Futtaim Trading Enterprises talks about its importance to the UAE market with electric vehicles demand primed to grow.

What is Polestar’s position in the electric car market?

Polestar is proving that business growth and climate goals are compatible, as it targets to halve carbon emissions per sold car between 2020 and 2030, and reach climate neutrality across its value chain by 2040.

Further promoting transparency on carbon footprint and risk materials, in 2021, Polestar introduced an industry-unique product sustainability declaration, clearly displaying sustainability information for Polestar 2 in all retail environments.

Polestar was also the first automotive brand to join the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the science-led cross-sector collaboration alliance, committed to halving global emissions by 2030. In addition, Polestar is committed to the UN’s Race to Zero.

Polestar’s global success story has gone from strength to strength. From January to April, sales more than doubled year on year to 13,600, driven by expansion into four new markets this year to bring the total up to 23 countries. Future success will be driven by a stronger product line-up, as Polestar plans to launch a new car every year for the next three years, starting with Polestar 3, a fully electric premium SUV.

What is the current Polestar model offering?

We recently opened the new Polestar Space located in the ‘Store of the Future’ retail concept at Mall of the Emirates. The Polestar Space has been created for customers to connect with Polestar, take a test drive, and purchase the 100% electric Polestar 2.

Situated on Level 1 of the mall, Store of the Future is a high-tech retail environment incorporating the latest advances in technology, combining physical and digital elements to create a unique shopping experience tailored to each visitor.

Polestar 2 was the first car in the world to feature an infotainment powered by Android Automotive OS with Google built-in, making life on the road easier, safer, and more intuitive. Google Maps has been optimised for use in an electric car, and will plot the most efficient route, taking battery level and available charging points into account. Additional apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, including favourites such as Spotify and YouTube Music.

Polestar 2 prices start from Dh161,900 for the standard-range single motor version, featuring one electric motor with 231 hp and 330 Nm of torque and a 69 kWh battery pack providing up to 444 km* WLTP electric range. The Long range Single motor version is priced from AED 200,900, and comes with a larger 78 kWh battery and up to 542 km* WLTP electric range.

The range-topping Long range Dual motor variant is priced from AED 210,900 and features all-wheel drive with a total output of 408 hp, 660 Nm of torque, and up to 482 km* WLTP electric range from the 78 kWh battery. Exclusively on the Long range Dual motor variant, an optional Performance Pack is available, including adjustable Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes, forged 20-inch alloy wheels and signature ‘Swedish gold’ details inside and out.

What is the Emirates’ readiness for EVs?

We’re seeing significant growth in demand for BEV technology and smaller compact SUVs as customers are starting to adopt and embrace the new technology. Rising fuel costs and a growing awareness of the dangers of climate change are convincing many to seek alternative modes of transport.

A recent Digital Life Index report by Publicis Sapient, a digital business transformation company, revealed 82 per cent of potential buyers in UAE would consider an EV, rising to 90 per cent for a hybrid, showing there is clear market demand for this shift towards sustainable automotive technology.

What about government decisions and infrastructure related to EVs?

Thanks to strong leadership and initiatives from the government, the UAE’s infrastructure currently supports the increasing EV technology sector and is growing exponentially.

The Dubai Green Mobility Strategy saw over 500 EV chargers installed across the emirate as of the end of 2021, with further initiatives designed to encourage the uptake of EVs, HEVs and PHEVs. Last month, the government of Abu Dhabi launched its regulatory policy for EV charging infrastructure, which will drive investments into EV charging infrastructure in Abu Dhabi and encourage consumers to purchase and use EVs.

Driven by the UAE’s vision for sustainable development and the UAE National Smart Mobility strategy, Al-Futtaim Automotive is committed to the success of the UAE and has been and will continue to be a pioneering force in making mobility sustainable to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 as per the UAE’s core mission.

We are a leader is sustainable mobility and FCEV technology, providing innovative mobility solutions and services that our customers want and deserve to keep the UAE moving towards building a more sustainable future of mobility.

What are the advantages of having a Polestar?

Aside from the obvious fuel costs which are a large expense for ICE engine vehicles in today’s economic climate, electric vehicles also offer a lower long term lower cost of ownership than their ICE counterparts. With far fewer moving parts, EVs have a lower number of consumable parts and require fewer service intervals. For example, they do not require oil changes, oil filters, fuel filters, air filters, and so on.

Polestar UAE will also assist customers in finding the right local supplier that can accommodate their home charging instalment requirements though approved local supplier partners.

Polestar offer a Vehicle Warranty on the Polestar 2 of three years with unlimited mileage, and a Battery Warranty of up to eight years or 160,000 km.

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Stephen Whitehttps://truckandfleetme.com/
Stephen White was formerly editor of Big Project ME.
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