What? Can You Please Repeat The Name? Pole, What?
Let’s face it. The Gothenburg based Volvo performance unit, Polestar, is not quite as well known as the California based electric car manufacturer Tesla. Neither is Thomas Ingenlath, the CEO of Polestar, famous like Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla. So, the other day, when a friend enquired ‘should I buy a Polestar’, I thought, why not introduce the EV to the e-zoomed EV community!
Polestar: A Brief Overview
Volvo Cars, the Swedish luxury vehicles manufacturer, announced in 2017 that Polestar would commence manufacturing high-end performance electric vehicles to compete head-on against Tesla. Since then, Volvo has announced that all new Volvo’s launched from 2019 onwards will be either hybrid or electric.
The manufacturer introduced the first Polestar car in October 2017, the limited edition hybrid Polestar 1, inspired by Volvo’s Concept Coupe introduced in 2013. Fast forward to 2019, and Polestar has unveiled its first mass-market 5 door all-electric car, the Polestar 2. The battery electric vehicle (BEV) is pitted against the hugely popular, Tesla Model 3 and also against competitors like BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar Land Rover.
The Polestar 2 is not expected to commence production till next year and deliveries are expected to start in July 2020. The company expects to build up to 50,000 electric vehicles in the first 12 months and then increase to annual production of 100,000 units. The high performance electric cars will be built in China.
The Polestar 2, is a four-wheel drive, with 408 brake horsepower and 660 Nm of torque, capable of 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds (4.7 sec). The EV has a 78 kWh lithium-ion battery with a targeted WLTP range of 310 miles (275 miles-EPA).
In comparison, the Polestar 1 hybrid, generates 600 brake horsepower with a torque of 1,000 Nm. It combines a 2 litre petrol engine with a 34 kWh battery achieving an electric range (NEDC) of just over 90 miles.
The Polestar 2 interior has the hallmarks of classic Volvo styling with ‘minimalism’ and ‘clean Scandinavian design’ at its core. However, the CEO of Polestar has been quick to point out that the Polestar 2 design has not been limited by traditional Volvo designs based on practicality, comfort and safety. The Polestar 2 has been designed in a more progressive and performance oriented manner. The interiors themes have been curated around three cities as inspiration: Shanghai, Berlin and London.
As expected, the vehicle uses regenerative braking, blended braking and one-pedal driving to increase EV efficiency. Both AC and DC charging are compatible with the Polestar 2 and can be charged up to 80% in 30 minutes using a rapid charger.
Where Can I Buy The Polestar 2?
The company offers an innovate subscription model as the primary approach, but also accepts outright purchases. The subscription approach aims to remove the ‘hassle from traditional car ownership’. The monthly all-inclusive payment includes, maintenance, insurance, breakdown etc., with all orders placed online.
Prices start at EUR 59,900 (£53,000 approximately) and the electric car can be reserved online with a £1,000 deposit. There is a choice of 6 exterior paint colours.
Should I Buy A Polestar 2?
The short answer is ‘it depends’. If you have driven Volvo cars and are wedded to the concept ‘Volvo Only’, then the answer is clear. Otherwise, I would recommend to ‘wait and assess’. There is very little ‘real world’ feedback on the Polestar 2 and evaluating ‘track record’ is imperative in such large budget acquisitions.
Moreover, the Tesla Model 3 is priced better than the Polestar 2 and delivers more value for money. The Model 3 comes in three variants, but even if we compare the middle variant, the ‘Long Range’ to the Polestar 2, the ‘value for money argument’ is clear and robust.
The Tesla Model 3 Long Range has a WLTP range of 348 miles compared to 310 miles for the Polestar 2. The Model 3 has superior acceleration, 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, compared to 4.7 seconds for Polestar 2, and above all, the Model 3 has a more attractive price.
Moreover, the residual values for the Model 3 will be far more predictable and potentially higher than the Polestar 2, influenced by a number of factors, to include demand and track record. Lastly, you do not need to wait till 2020 to get your hold of your Tesla Model 3!