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Polestar 1 Crash Tested in Sweden


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This is the carbon fiber body of the Polestar 1, a low-volume hybrid that provides 600 hp and, perhaps so as to be a good global citizen, an electric-only range of 93 miles. It is going to be produced by Volvo spin-off Polestar in a brand-new, purpose-built factory in Chengdu, China.

PolestarA

Like any car under development, the Polestar 1 is being subjected to crash tests. What makes this a little different is that Volvo, a company that is almost obsessive (in a good way) about vehicular safety, has never crash tested carbon fiber-reinforced polymer body vehicles. They’re familiar with the crash energy management of steel: crumple zones crumple such that the energy is reduced before it gets to the passenger cabin. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, doesn’t crumple.

It cracks and shatters.

Much different.

The Polestar 1 does, however, have a steel underbody structure along with the carbon fiber.

During the test, the vehicle was propelled into a stationary barrier at 34.8 mph in the Volvo Cars Safety Center in Gothenburg, Sweden.

PolestarB

According to Zef van der Putten, responsible for carbon fiber at Polestar, “The outcome of this first crash test validates the decision to build the body of Polestar 1 in carbon fiber. It also confirms that carbon fiber supports the highest safety standards.”

Which is one of the things that Volvo—and Polestar, by extension—is all about.

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