Keep EVs Focused on the Environment, Urges Polestar CEO
The electric vehicle revolution must be centered on its role in reducing climate change and not just on a financial sauce train to be milked by speculators.
That’s the warning Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath issues at the recent Shanghai International Auto Show, arguably the most electrified event of its kind ever.
Most of the major global car manufacturer groups offering a BEV offering have targeted the timing of the event to announce a series of new models or concepts for the future.
Yet Ingenlath cautions against getting lost in electric dreams while ignoring the realities for the revolution to be successful in its goal of slowing global warming.
“What is at stake here is not the value that financiers think of a business, but the chance to revolutionize the auto industry, turn it into electricity and at the same time make a huge contribution to climate protection, ”he says. “In relation to these important themes, a stock market valuation is a very insignificant and meaningless marker of success.”
The price fixing of market share has seen the creation of companies closer to financial vehicles than to actual automakers, says Ingenlath.
“I’m frankly amazed that there are companies that are worth billions of dollars that have never made a car,” he says. “Today I would like to make it clear that the electric mobility revolution must be anchored in reality and not in dreams.”
While Ingenlath welcomes the growing investor interest in the electric vehicle industry, it warns that it is too easy to focus on the value of paper rather than industrial reality.
“The path to a cleaner planet is through our design studios, research departments, factories, supply chains and conference rooms,” says the head of Volvo Cars’ all-electric sub-brand.
“In the automotive industry, we need to stay focused on what we’re doing and why. The more speculative the electric vehicle industry becomes, the deeper our responsibility is to ensure that we stay grounded in the real business of making the cars that will revolutionize the industry. “
Polestar announced a week before the show that it had raised £ 550million ($ 766million) from a group of long-term financial investors, marking the first time that outside investors have backed the cars, the brand, the industrial capacity, financial ambitions and high growth potential of Polestar. .
According to Ingenlath, the electric vehicle market is growing rapidly, with consumers increasingly willing to combine electric mobility with their environmental aspirations. At the same time, the technologies behind electric vehicles are advancing and becoming increasingly economical.
“These powerful trends mean that the auto industry is now in a position to make the most significant contribution to positive climate change in history,” he says. “Of course we mean growth, but by that I don’t mean growth in investment levels, valuations or price / earnings multiples. I mean real growth. Growth in the number of consumers switching to EVs and eradication of the increase in harmful emissions. “