Polestar to open retail outlet in Abu Dhabi

Swedish car maker is bullish about demand in the UAE as charging infrastructure develops, its chief executive says

Polestar aims to offer three electric cars for customers in the UAE, chief executive Thomas Ingenlath says.  Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Swedish electric vehicle company Polestar plans to open its second retail outlet in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi, next year on the back of higher demand for EVs in the country.

The new outlet will be opened in partnership with Al Futtaim Group, close to the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Polestar chief executive Thomas Ingenlath told The National.

It currently has an outlet at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

“It’s a very interesting market for us to get the foot into … because there is already good strong interest,” Mr Ingenlath said, in an interview on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Finance Week.

“It's definitely the journey ahead … [with] charging infrastructure developing and really making the ease of owning an EV more and more convenient for the customer.”

He did not disclose how many cars have been sold in the UAE so far this year, but globally, the New York-listed company sold more than 40,000 cars, with the US and the UK its biggest markets.

The company sells the Polestar 2 model in the UAE and plans to include Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 by next year.

“We will have, within 2024, three electric cars on offer for the customer – Polestar 3, this great SUV, and then the Polestar 4, a sporty SUV, joining.

“These are two cars that will be very useful in this market where people just simply love the luxury and the comfort of space and don't want to make any compromises in the electric car.”

The UAE plans to increase the share of electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads to 50 per cent by 2050, from about 1 per cent currently. It is also developing EV infrastructure to support its ambitions.

The country also recently announced it will launch a pricing mechanism to incentivise the private sector to invest in the infrastructure for EV charging stations.

Adnoc Distribution, the country's largest fuel and convenience retailer, plans to accelerate the introduction of EV charging points across its locations in 2024, its chief executive Bader Al Lamki recently told The National.

It expects to operate 50 EV charging points by the end of this year and will focus on installing the charging points on motorways where demand is higher, he said.

The demand for EVs continues to rise globally amid efforts by governments to cut emissions, Mr Ingenlath said.

“The investments of the industry are heavily into the EV sector because it's everybody's conviction that that is a technology … for the mass market.”

Globally, electric car sales are projected to reach 14 million in 2023, from 10 million last year, the International Energy Agency said in its Global Electric Vehicle Outlook report in April.

Electric vehicles will make up about half of the new car sales worldwide by 2035 as the push for net-zero carbon emissions accelerates, according to Goldman Sachs Research.

Polestar, headquartered in Gothenburg, currently offers its cars in 27 markets globally across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific. It plans to have a line-up of five performance EVs by 2026.

The company also plans to expand across the region with a new retail outlet opening in Kuwait next year, Mr Ingenlath said.

Updated: December 01, 2023, 4:00 AM