Hybrids and hydrogen
Villa Cora, perched on the hills above Florence, was commissioned by Baron Oppenheim at the end of the 19th century. It has sculpted gardens, suites, and an entire floor dedicated to Empress Eugenia, widow of Napoleon III. Villa Cora, it’s safe to say, almost has it all. Almost.
What it doesn’t have is charging infrastructure offering clean, renewable electricity for electric vehicles. Which became a bit of a sticking point, as it’s the location where we’re hosting test drives for the Polestar 1. Using the opulence of the Villa as a counterpoint to the minimalist style of the Polestar 1 was one thing; having to use diesel generators to charge our electric performance hybrids would, however, have been unacceptable. We needed a solution.
The solution came in the form of a hydrogen fuel cell, developed by Siemens and GeoPura. Their hydrogen fuel cell is providing clean, emission-free power to the ten fast chargers and two rapid chargers which are in turn powering each Polestar 1, without relying on the local power grid.
The elegant beauty around us at Villa Cora reminds us that we need magnificent electric vehicles such as the Polestar 1
The hydrogen fuel cell and the Polestar 1 aren’t strangers. They first met at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the cell powered all of the EVs (including the Polestar 1) in the First Glance Paddock, enabling the first zero-emissions Goodwood Hillclimb.
And this technology enables the production, storage, and transportation of clean and renewable energy (see sidebar for a breakdown). GeoPura and Siemens are the first to bring this end-to-end commercial setup to the world, showcasing what’s possible when it comes to ecologically friendly charging solutions. “The elegant beauty around us at Villa Cora reminds us that we need magnificent electric vehicles such as the Polestar 1,” states GeoPura MD Andrew Cunningham, “and we all need to seize the opportunity to enjoy a clean environment by using clean, renewable energy to charge these vehicles.”
Villa Cora does indeed possess an elegant beauty. And now, it also possesses clean, zero-emissions charging.
Hydrogen fuel cell facts
The hydrogen is first created by using an electric current to split hydrogen from oxygen in water. The resulting hydrogen, when combined with oxygen in the fuel cell, causes a redox reaction which then creates electricity (along with heat and pure water, the only by-products of this system).
Polestar at the Met Gala
Few things occupy the space where design, art, and innovation meet as naturally as fashion. The runway is a known environment for true experimentation, showcasing new techniques, materials, and design philosophies to audiences eager to see what’s next and what’s still in the realm of fantasy. The Met Gala, colloquially known as “fashion’s big night out”, is where the who’s who of this world congregate. And to meet up at this meeting of minds, participants took another thing that’s perfectly at home in the middle of the Venn diagram of design, art, and innovation: Polestar 2.
The Hydro chair: a glimpse into the future
Many have tried to imagine what the future might look like. Flying cars, holograms, and interstellar travel have all been considered. And a lot of silver and grey, for some reason. When we try to envision a sustainable future, though, it tends to look a bit different. Greener. Now, that vision has been realised in the shape of the chair. One that’s both silver and green.