Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath is happy that the electric vehicle market is attracting a new wave of companies, but he is concerned that some players are more concerned about their stock valuations than addressing the climate crisis.
"It frankly amazes me that there are companies out there that are worth billions of dollars and have never made a car," Ingenlath, who has led the 3-year-old Volvo Car subsidiary since it became a stand-alone brand, said at the Shanghai auto show this week. "The electric mobility revolution needs to be grounded in reality, not dreams."
The CEO underlined Polestar's commitment to addressing the environmental impact of creating a car this month by setting the goal of producing a climate neutral vehicle by 2030.
"What is at stake here is not how much financiers think a company is worth, but the chance to revolutionize the auto industry, turn it electric and at the same time make a huge contribution to protecting the climate," Ingenlath said at the show. "Put against these important themes, a market valuation is a very insubstantial and meaningless marker of success."
Ingenlath is not afraid to speak his mind.
Last year he called out the industry, governments and consumers for the slow uptake of EVs.
Under Ingenlath, Polestar has also challenged its rivals to follow its example and provide the carbon footprints of the cars they make.
The Polestar 2 leaves the factory with a carbon footprint of 26 metric tons.
So far, only Volvo has provided a comparable figure, which is 16 metric tons for the gasoline-powered version of the Polestar 2's platform mate, the XC40, at the end of the compact SUV's production.
The biggest contributors to the difference are the Polestar 2's battery module and its usage of aluminum.