Florida’s first Polestar EV dealership will open in Tampa in 2022

The Volvo-backed electric car maker, a Tesla competitor, will have a showroom at Midtown Tampa.

A Polestar isn’t a Tesla. But that’s actually part of the appeal, said Danny O’Malley.

“We believe our brand is superior than Tesla’s in quality,” said O’Malley, dealer and owner of Volvo Cars Tampa, which began selling the Swedish electric car brand in November. “A lot of people have had the Teslas. Last month we had four trade-in Teslas, where they traded their Tesla for a Polestar 2, because they were looking for something different.”

Come 2022, drivers curious about the Polestar brand will be able to shop at their own local showroom.

Polestar plans to open its first Florida dealer store at Midtown Tampa, the $500 million mixed-use development near Interstate 275 and N Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. As with Tesla, the company won’t have a traditional dealership-style lot, but a boutique 2,500-square-foot showroom where they can order a car with the specs they want.

Polestar has just 20 showrooms nationwide, but more are planned, including four in South Florida. Volvo owns 50 percent of the company, but the brands operate separately, said O’Malley, who will run the Midtown Tampa showroom. A base Pollstar 2 starts at around $50,000, while the sportier Pollstar 1 can run north of $150,000.

“As a brand, compared to Volvo and Volkswagen, it’s too young to even be in the same ballpark,” he said. “We’re just trying to show the brand off and try and get as many test drivers as we can to show off the product.”