Polestar crumples its carbon-fiber car body in first ever crash tests
Those closely following the progress of Volvo's electric vehicle spinoff Polestar may know it is the first time the Swedish automaker has explored carbon fiber construction. Part of that exploration is smashing cars to bits in crash tests, which the company says has vindicated the design of its debut luxury hybrid.
"We were really excited about this crash test," says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. "The first crash test of Polestar 1 has been about exploring the unknown. This was a crucial proof point in the development of Polestar 1. We had to know that the ideas and calculations that have gone into building this car were right, and they were."
Polestar shuttled the verification prototype head-on in to a stationary barrier at 56 km/h (35 mph) to replicate the impact of a front-on collision. Its engineers observed this impact closely to see where and how the car, with its carbon fiber body over an underlying steel structure, absorbed the energy. They seem to think it stood up pretty well, reporting the body showed no signs of misalignment after the crash.
"The outcome of this first crash test validates the decision to build the body of Polestar 1 in carbon fibre," says Polestar's Zef van der Putten. "It also confirms that carbon fibre supports the highest safety standards. This is an example of how Polestar spearheads the development of new technology in the Volvo Car Group."
The company began production of its first verification prototypes last month, with customer models of the Polestar 1 expected to hit the streets sometime in 2019. It will carry a price tag of US$155,000, €155,000 in Europe and 1.45 million RMB in China, but customers will also be able to get behind the wheel through catch-all subscription models that cover costs like insurance, maintenance and the lease.
You can check out the crash testing in the video below.