The Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe is almost here and to get it ready for production, Polestar has already built 34 prototypes for on road and crash tests. The Volvo Car Group recently crash tested the first Polestar 1 to test the strength of its carbon fiber reinforced polymer body.
“We were really excited about this crash test. The first crash test of Polestar 1 has been about exploring the unknown,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. “This was a crucial proof point in the development of Polestar 1; we had to know that the ideas and calculations that have gone into building this car were right – and they were.”
Polestar says that crash testing a carbon fiber body represents extra challenges compared to a conventional steel body. In a crash, a steel body bends with its integrated crumple zones to reduce the amount of crash energy that reaches the vehicle’s occupants, in contrast, a carbon fiber body dissipates energy by cracking and shattering.
For its first crash test, a Polestar 1 prototype was propelled into a stationary barrier at 35 mph. During the crash, most of the energy was absorbed by the car’s crash structure, with the remaining energy mitigated by the carbon fiber body panels into the body structure.
“The outcome of this first crash test validates the decision to build the body of Polestar 1 in carbon fiber,” stated Zef van der Putten, who’s responsible for carbon fiber at Polestar. “It also confirms that carbon fibre supports the highest safety standards. This is an example of how Polestar spearheads the development of new technology in the Volvo Car Group.”