Swedish electric vehicle (EV) maker Polestar‘s operating loss narrowed in the second quarter as the auto industry slowly recovers from pandemic-related supply chain bottlenecks.
The cash-strapped carmaker, founded by China’s Geely and Volvo Cars, on Thursday posted an operating loss of $274.4 million, down from $627.3 million a year ago, while revenue rose to $685.2 million from $589.1 million.
Polestar said it delivered 15,765 vehicles during the quarter, and reiterated its forecast to deliver between 60,000 and 70,000 cars in 2023 and achieve a gross margin of 4%.
The company had cut the delivery target from 80,000 in May, as Reuters inform.
Delayed production starts, job cuts and mounting competition from new Chinese rivals have meant a tough year for the company.
It has also faced increased competition from more established EV makers.
While some have cut prices to boost demand from consumers grappling with higher living costs, Polestar has maintained its premium pricing.
Although the firm has inched closer to profitability, Polestar, like its rivals, continues to struggle with previously high raw material prices that – due to a lag – put pressure on the second quarter margin, despite prices on materials such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel falling.
Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath told Reuters he expected lower raw material prices to have a positive impact on the second half of 2023, supporting the company’s 4% gross margin forecast.
The company posted a net loss per share of $0.14 in the quarter, compared with $0.12 a year ago.
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter were $1.06 billion, compared with $884.3 million in the preceding three-month period.
Its U.S.-listed shares were down about 12% at $3.41.
Future Polestar’s launches
Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar wants to bring Mobileye’s Chauffeur, a hands-off, eyes-off autonomous driving technology, to its Polestar 4 electric SUV coupe.
The Polestar 4, which launched Friday in China and will hit global markets in 2024, comes standard with Mobileye’s SuperVision advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).
Polestar plans to add Chauffeur at a later date, but did not specify when.
SuperVision is a camera-based system that runs on Mobileye’s EyeQ5 chips. It includes highway automated driving features like autonomous lane changing, highway and traffic jam assist, evasive maneuver assist, front and rear collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control.
Porsche in May also tapped Mobileye to integrate SuperVision into future EVs.
Chauffeur builds on the SuperVision tech by adding a layer of radar and lidar sensors, and will run on Mobileye’s EyeQ6 chips.
When Chauffeur officially launches, it’ll offer “point-to-point autonomous driving on highways, as well as eyes-on automated driving for other environments, in identified operational design domains,” according to Mobileye.
“Other environments” can mean arterial roads, freeways, rural or urban streets. Mobileye says expansion to new operational design domains (ODDs) will depend on the sensor and compute power chosen by each OEM — Chauffeur won’t work without lidar integration.
The combination of lidar, radar and cameras allow cars equipped with Mobileye technology to continuously map a region to ensure accurate coverage and extensive online and offline validation.
Polestar previously announced that its Polestar 4 will include an in-cabin camera-based driver monitoring system (DMS) to ensure the driver doesn’t overly rely on SuperVision or fall asleep at the wheel. The company has not yet confirmed if it will add onto that DMS once it integrates Chauffeur.
More details about the Chauffeur integration will come closer to launch, like how much either the system itself or the Polestar 4 equipped with lidar will cost.
Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” software, which features automated driving capabilities on highways and urban streets, relies only on cameras and costs $15,000.