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Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath on EV turbulence ahead

Alan Neuhauser
Jun 21, 2022
Photo illustration of Thomas Ingenlath next to Polestar logo
Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Higher EV prices are here to stay, according to Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar, the Volvo spinoff that expects to complete its SPAC merger this week despite intense headwinds for both SPACs and EV automakers.

Why it matters: Surging commodity prices, inflation, bear markets and investor scrutiny are spelling trouble for SPACs and EVs — and Polestar sits at the intersection of both.

  • Meanwhile, automakers, investors and consumers are being forced to rethink how they sell and buy EVs.

The company plans to raise $850 million through its SPAC: "When we decided to go down this road, that kind of high — and naive — phase of the SPAC business was already over," Ingenlath tells Axios.

  • "We will definitely prove that a SPAC can indeed mean a very successful and meaningful start of the company."

EV price volatility is the new normal: "With the battery in the car, we suddenly have a component where the raw material prices go up — and hopefully down — in a much, much faster speed than a lot of the other components that we have," Ingenlath adds.

Tesla's merely the first EV automaker to hike prices: "Tesla’s demonstrating in a very brutal and fast way that the customer will have to adapt."

  • Polestar plans to do the same: "We have to adapt our prices. We have, with the model year change in 2022, increased the price of the Polestar 2 in a moderate way. We might have to react with the prices of batteries again this year."
  • Today, the vehicle's starting sticker price is $45,900.

💭 Our thought bubble: Growth capital is hard to come by these days unless companies, and their investors, are willing to take on the risks associated with SPACs.

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