Polestar, Volvo’s former performance arm which is being developed into a maker of electric cars, has started production of its Tesla Model 3 rival.

The Polestar 2 is produced in Luqiao, China, and deliveries are expected to begin this summer for Europe. Deliveries for China and North America will follow later.

The compact saloon is fully electric, with 408hp and a 78kWh battery pack for a WLTP range of 292 miles.

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said: “We start production now under these challenging circumstances, with a strong focus on the health and safety of our people. This is a great achievement and the result of huge efforts from the staff in the factory and the team securing the supply chain. I have a huge amount of respect for the entire team – thanks to them!”

Polestar used to be the performance brand for Volvo, but in 2017 was relaunched as a separate car manufacturer focusing on electric cars. Its first car, the Polestar 1, is a high-performance plug-in hybrid coupé. The 2 will be a compact electric saloon to rival the Tesla Model 3, while the Polestar 3 will be an SUV version. 

Like Volvo, Polestar is owned by Chinese car giant Geely, and all Polestars (excluding Polestar versions of Volvos) are manufactured in China.