Polestar's Second Electric Vehicle Concept Promises to Reduce Waste

The automaker says this car simplifies recycling, while also reducing weight and waste.

A blue Polestar 02 vehicle on an outdoor display
The Polestar O2 roadster is the second concept from the automaker.

Marc Carter

Polestar is working on several new electric vehicles (EVs), which include the Polestar 3 SUV, slated to arrive later this year; the Polestar 4 crossover, expected to debut next year; and the Polestar 5 sedan in 2024. Now, the Swedish electric automaker is previewing what an electric sports car could look like from the brand with the debut of the O2 concept. It’s a stylish electric roadster based on the same platform as the Precept concept.

The Polestar O2 concept is based on a new bespoke aluminum platform, which will be used by the upcoming Polestar 5. Polestar hasn’t announced any specs for the concept, but it does say it has an incredibly stiff platform that makes it even more fun to drive. On the outside, it’s easy to see the connection between the O2 and the Precept concept, since the O2 literally just looks like a convertible version of the first concept.

The O2 also features a folding hardtop that stows neatly under the rear deck, which still allows for room for four passengers. At the rear, there’s an "autonomous cinematic drone" that can be deployed at speeds up to 56 mph. Once it’s deployed, the drone can follow you on your drive to record you behind the wheel.

Inside, the interior is nearly identical to the Precept’s interior with its large portrait-oriented touchscreen and smaller screen in front of the driver.

According to Maximilian Missoni, the head of design at Polestar, the big news here, besides the convertible body style, is the sustainability factor.

The O2’s “mono-material” is a single material that has been used for several parts of the interior. Polestar says the mono-material makes it easier to recycle the parts at the end of the vehicle’s lifecycle: "Mixed materials have to be separated before recycling, making the process more difficult. Polestar O₂ proves that a car interior based on single material components can pair style with sustainability."

The 02 exclusively uses recycled polyester as the base for all the soft components in the interior, like foam, knit fibers, non-woven lamination, and adhesives. This promises to reduce waste and simplify recycling.

Polestar further explains on its website:

Conventionally, vehicle interiors consist of a wide variety of materials. At the end of the vehicle's life, these combinations are hard to separate, making it extremely difficult to recycle them back to their original quality (and using lots of energy in the process). In contrast, all of the soft components of the Polestar O₂ interior are made from one base material: highly recyclable thermoplastic. Therefore, the foam, the adhesive, the 3D knit upholstery and the non-woven lamination can all be recycled without energy-intensive separation or loss of attributes.

“Polestar O2 is our vision of a new era for sports cars," Missoni tells Treehugger. “By mixing the joy of open top driving with the purity of electric mobility, it unlocks a new mix of emotions in a car. But as with all our cars, we are about more than just straight-line sprints. It’s when you turn the steering wheel that the true fun begins.”

Polestar hasn’t confirmed if it will introduce an electric roadster, but if it did, it would be one of the first automakers to introduce one. With the upcoming departure of the Polestar 1 sports car, there is a hole in the brand’s lineup, which could be filled by a production version of the O2 concept. For now, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath is only saying “it opens the door to our secret chamber of future potential.”