Initial U.S. deliveries of the Polestar 3 and Volvo EX90 are likely to be delayed by months due to a software-related issue spanning these models’ shared platform, the two Swedish EV makers confirmed Thursday.
The impact may be most significant for Polestar, as U.S. deliveries of the Polestar 3 electric SUV won’t start later this year as originally intended.
Production of the Polestar 3 will start in the first quarter of 2024, Polestar confirmed Thursday. It had been due to start in summer 2023 in China, with deliveries due there and in the U.S. later in the year. Meanwhile, U.S. production was due to start in 2024, with the South Carolina plant positioned to be the production source for the electric SUV for all global markets except China.
“Polestar was recently informed that additional time for final software development of the new all-electric platform shared by Volvo Cars is needed and that the start of production of Polestar 3 is now expected in the first quarter of 2024,” Polestar said in a statement issued Thursday.
What this means, Polestar confirmed to Green Car Reports, is that production will no longer be ramped up some months earlier in China than in South Carolina; instead, the two plants will ramp up around the same time, next year. “Start of Polestar 3 production in Ridgeville, South Carolina in the United States remains on track for mid-2024,” Polestar said.
Polestar further clarified that the delay is entirely due to software development and not a manufacturing or supply-chain delay. China-market versions will be built in China, while versions for the rest of the world will be made in South Carolina. That plant, run by Volvo, may be the first of the automaker’s global plants making only electric cars.
The launch of the Polestar 4, a more affordable model that could rival the Tesla Model Y, is not affected by the delay, Polestar clarified, which means it will go into production before the 3. The Polestar 4 will be available in China in the fourth quarter of 2023 and other markets in early 2024, the company said.
After Polestar’s point over to Volvo as the source of the delay, Volvo also confirmed that it has adjusted its start-of-production timing for the EX90, which is built on the same platform. It said in a statement that it needs more time in software development and testing “to ensure a high-quality introduction of the car and to maximise customer benefit from its technology from day 1.”
A production start of the Volvo EX90 had been due to start by the end of the year, with first U.S. deliveries in early 2024. With a delayed production start in the first half of 2024, the model appears to be delayed by several months.
With a significant delay of months for these models, will reservation-holders wait? Or will they shift to rival models from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Rivian, or even Kia? With a very tight market and a short supply of EVs, Volvo and Polestar may need to plan for some overtime.
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