Driving into the Future: Al Futtaim’s Managing Director Talks All Things Polestar 3

8 mins

Hasan Nergiz, Managing Director at Al-Futtaim talks exclusively to The Ethicalist about the UAE launch of the highly anticipated Polestar 3, the SUV for the electric age

The highly anticipated electric Polestar 3 SUV has launched in the UAE with Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company, the official distributor, saying the vehicle will contribute to the UAE’s net-zero by 2050 commitments.

The sleek, fully electric five-seat SUV with a power range of up to 628km an hour and a charging time of just 30 minutes, can reach 0-100km per hour in just 4.7 seconds.

Prototypes were tested with temperatures reaching up to 50°C, to fine-tune the vehicle’s climate system as a part of extreme weather tests to ensure optimal performance in the region.

Hasan Nergiz, Managing Director, Al-Futtaim talked to The Ethicalist on the sidelines of the exclusive launch event in Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue.

TE: How does Polestar differentiate itself in the EV market? 

HN: In the span of just a few years, Polestar has created a formidable reputation as a performance EV brand worldwide. They are a company committed to minimalistic design, technological innovations, and sustainable solutions, and this is strongly reflected in every Polestar model.

They are one of the most progressive automotive manufacturers. With every new model and new generation launch, Polestar improves the range, efficiency and performance of the car while simultaneously reducing its carbon footprint.

‘Their objective is to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the production and supply chain, and create a truly climate-neutral production car by 2030’

For instance, Polestar 3, the first electric performance SUV from Polestar that we at Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility have recently launched, marks a major milestone in green mobility and redefines the role of an SUV in the electric age. Not only does it deliver definitive SUV performance and comfort, it also features natural fibre composites, bio-attributed MicroTech which is a great leather alternative, alongside fully traceable wool upholstery. The car is not only responsible and relevant in today’s context, but at the same time, it is also desirable for all the right reasons. Very few manufacturers are able to strike this right balance.

Prototypes of the Polestar 3 were tested with temperatures reaching up to 50°C

TE: Tell us a little about how Polestar hopes to achieve the moonshot goal of carbon neutrality? 

HN: Polestar Project 0 (Zero) is their moonshot goal and more importantly, this is a project where they challenge every convention in automotive or electric vehicle manufacturing. Their objective is to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the production and supply chain, and create a truly climate-neutral production car by 2030.

Polestar’s goal is to meet their target from conception all the way to customer delivery, without resorting to offsetting until there are solutions with proven results in place.

At present they are in the advanced research and collaboration phase and from 2025, they aim to engage in applied science followed by product development from 2027 onwards. Moreover, a bold ambition like this cannot be achieved in silo, they are collaborating with partners across the manufacturing chain to decarbonise the complete production. They are using a combination of blockchain technology, supplier risk assessments and audits to responsibly source materials.

The Polestar 3 was launched at an exclusive event in Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue

TE: Polestar has been making waves with its performance oriented EVs. How does the brand balance performance and sustainability?

HN: Every Polestar promises a dynamic new design made stronger with its performance and sustainability – and the Polestar 3 is a classic example. Featuring a unique design language inspired by Polestar Precept and underlining Scandinavian minimalism, Polestar 3 is a fully electric 5-seat SUV with a power range of up to 380 kW and an impressive 910 Nm torque.

Marking Polestar’s global entry into the thriving electric SUV market, Polestar 3 introduces a new aerodynamic profile with a focus on retaining SUV characteristics and features subtle yet effective aerodynamic optimizations – such as a front aero wing integrated into the bonnet, and an aero wing integrated into the rear spoiler.

Polestar 3 launches with a dual-motor configuration, a power bias towards the rear, and an optional Performance Pack for increased power and torque. Boasting an 111kWh battery pack with a driving range of up to 610km on a single full charge and equipped for bidirectional charging, Polestar 3 redefines what a fully electric SUV is capable of in terms of providing luxury, performance and sustainability in one stylish package.

Hasan Nergiz, Managing Director, Al-Futtaim

TE: Is it a challenge to reach their zero emissions target by 2035? 

HN: Polestar are fully committed to complete transparency and traceability when it comes to materials and minerals used to produce batteries. So their research is not only limited to improving the efficiency of their batteries, but also taking action to address environmental, social, and human rights issues related to production.

With each upgrade to their batteries, they aim to improve cell chemistry and power efficiency, with a focus on longer ranges and faster charging times. They continuously push their suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of the battery modules they supply.

In addition, the conditions surrounding the extraction and refining of minerals can be both hazardous and exploitative, and Polestar is actively working to mitigate the associated risks by setting strict standards for suppliers and improving supply chain transparency. They are also working to minimize the extraction of raw minerals and materials, instead using materials, such as aluminium parts, that have been recycled where possible.

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Of course, the production is just one side of equation. Polestar’s vision must be shared by its dealership partners, and this is where Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility supports with its own mission to build the UAE’s EV ecosystem through its Charge2Moov business and the region’s first service facility dedicated purely to new energy vehicles.

TE: Can you give us a few details about the materials used in the Polestar 3 and how they compare to more traditional vehicles. 

HN: As briefly mentioned before, the interior materials of Polestar 3 prioritises sustainability, featuring bio-attributed MicroTech, animal welfare-certified leather, and fully traceable wool upholsteries.

From design and materials, to sourcing and assembly, to use and reuse, Polestar 3 represents another step on the journey towards more circular electric cars. For instance, the natural fibre composites used in Polestar 3’s inner door and storage compartments are made from European-grown flax produce, a material that is 40 per cent lower in weight and uses 50 per cent less virgin plastic than the conventional alternative. First used in the Polestar Precept, these composites are now being used at scale in Polestar 3.

TE: How important is it that we transition to electric vehicles as a global community? 

HN: One of the strategic goals of Polestar is to rethink mobility around sustainability, with an aim to be the benchmark for electric vehicles that have a minimal impact on the planet, and at the same time, are extremely desirable to drive and own.

This aligns perfectly with our own mission, as Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility wants to lead the creation of a full electric mobility ecosystem within the region. From our detailed market and industry studies, we are well aware that just bringing electric vehicles alone isn’t enough; people need an end-to-end EV solution with a customer-first approach.

‘We’ve found that the UAE’s strong demand for electric cars is not only due to environmental concerns and the government’s Net Zero strategy, but also from the total cost of ownership aspect’

EVs need to be an affordable, viable and desirable option for car buyers, and we’re playing our own part in this by introducing leading EV brands such as Polestar to the market, as well as delivering charging solutions and training on service and maintenance of electric and hybrid cars with our e-mobility training centre, the region’s first IMI-certified e-mobility centre.

Thankfully, the UAE is definitely moving in the right direction. Through our own research, we’ve found that the UAE’s strong demand for electric cars is not only due to environmental concerns and the government’s Net Zero strategy, but also from the total cost of ownership aspect. With EVs, customers can save a lot on fuel costs, and also maintenance thanks to fewer mechanical parts than traditional ICE vehicles.

TE: How long is the waiting list to get one of these beautiful vehicles? 

HN: The production for Polestar 3 is well underway in Chengdu, China, with additional manufacturing in Ridgeville, South Carolina, USA to support supply in Western markets. Test drives for Polestar 3 will soon be available in our Polestar Spaces in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and we would like to invite our valued customer to explore the display cars and register in advance for test drives when they become available.

The Polestar 3 is now available for order with a starting price of AED 360,000.

Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company also invites customers to view the vehicle at the Polestar Space in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and an upcoming space in Abu Dhabi, where they can also book test drives for later in the year.

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