Hawkins told us that until now, Polestar’s used stock has largely been made up of ex-demos, ex-press fleet, and cars on its internal fleet. 

He said: “We work with our investor partners, that run our spaces, that all have existing used car businesses, and experience in that marketplace. The cars are then prepped and reconditioned to the highest standard. 

“Then, we apply customer value-added products, such as a minimum two-year warranty, and a minimum two-year roadside recovery top-up, to whatever mileage and whatever the age the cars are when they come back. 

“There’s a 14-day no quibble return policy too, and the peace of mind that you get from buying direct from a manufacturer approved programme in terms of making sure the cars been looked after properly. The way we then market these cars and the way we sell them, is in a very Polestar digital way.” 

To do this, Hawkins and his team have set up a ‘Pre-owned’ area of Polestar.com as a marketplace, where both Polestar and its investor partners can advertise pre-owned stock. 

He said: “Customers can go and select a car, whether they do it in the comfort of their own home, or whether they want to do that with the help of a specialist at one of our Polestar Spaces. 

“They can then purchase that car, do the finance – all online, or offline if they want to speak to our finance partners – if they prefer to do it that way. Then, once it’s ordered, we deliver the car to their doorstep – all available for private or business customers.”

If all that sounds like buying a new Polestar, Hawkins goes on to tell me this has been quite deliberate. He said: “As far as we’re concerned, the launch of Pre-owned Polestar, as a used car programme, has almost been like another product launch for us. 

“What the Pre-owned programme has allowed us to do, is to enter a different segment of the market. From a price point, where people either don’t want to, or [are unable to] stretch to the cost of a new Polestar 3 – they can still access the brand now, by purchasing a pre-owned car.

“We want those used car customers to get the same premium service as a new customer would, and have that simple and quick, easy, and transparent transaction with us. The digital sales process allows for that.”

With over 80% of new Polestars going to fleet, we asked Hawkins if a significant proportion of these Pre-owned cars were going back into fleet in their second life? 

He said: “Yes, about 20% of what we’ve sold so far has been sold business to business. The vast majority of that is SME, which is a fantastic marketplace, and a fantastic opportunity for small business customers who want to be able to switch to an EV – or want a used car in general! 

“A lot of the lease companies are talking about second-life leasers, to keep vehicles on their books a bit longer, I think that’s a difficult proposition. It is tough to price those cars correctly, and I’m not sure how ready the market is for those products. 

“With PCP or business contract purchase (BCP), finance that we can provide for our Pre-owned programme, there are ways for businesses to be able to finance their vehicle and bring a used car on to their fleet.

“It is really a case of choice that the customer needs to make. Do they want to spend at the high-end £80,000+ on a new Polestar 3? Or do they want to be entering at the lower-end, for a Pre-owned one – or somewhere in between?”

The next stage of the Pre-owned programme is that Polestar is in the position to be talking to all the leasing companies and asking them what cars they are looking to defleet in the coming months. 

Hawkins said: “This is so we can help them get the best possible value for those vehicles. They will be the next round of vehicles to go on the platform and be sold by our investors.”