Polestar 2 | Can it compete with Tesla?

We take a look at the brand new EV the Polestar 2. Is it a competitor for Tesla's throne?

It’s been a long time coming.

At the end of February 2019, Chinese-owned Polestar published a press release announcing that they had developed a brand-new all-electric luxury saloon that they were calling the Polestar 2 (Polestar 1 was already taken, the name of their first vehicle, a hybrid with a 3,000 unit limited global run and a rather hefty £140,000 price tag).

The press release also included information about the official debut, to be made at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019. At the same time, Polestar stated that they had premiered the vehicle online because they felt that flying people in to witness the launch of an environmentally-friendly electric car didn’t make sense.

After its physical debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Polestar took the vehicle on a world tour, which included 3 days at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed.

At the end of June 2020, over a year after its release was announced, the first Polestar 2 vehicles rolled off a transporter in Zeebrugge, Belgium, having travelled from China where they were manufactured.

First Polestar2 arriving in Zebrugge (June 2020)

Delivery of the Polestar 2 was originally scheduled to take place in Europe at the beginning of June, however, the global COVID-19 pandemic, which caused shutdowns to manufacturing plants everywhere, meant that delays were unavoidable. Additionally, the closure of dealerships ensured that if the vehicles had arrived at their destination ports, they would have been stuck as all deliveries were cancelled.

Though things are starting to get back on track when it comes to delivery of new vehicles, there are some delays affecting arrival of the first Polestar 2 models in the UK.

Polestar vs Tesla

The Polestar 2 is being marketed as competition for vehicles from the world’s most popular and successful EV manufacturer, Tesla. But how does it fare when compared to Tesla’s prize-winning Model 3, or premium Model S?

Actually, it fares pretty well, with pricing similar to the Model 3 and styling similar to the Model S, and a range as good as the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus.

Polestar vs Tesla

What do I get with the Polestar 2?

For the first year, the Polestar 2 is available as a Launch Edition. With a basic cost of £49,900 on the road, this model comes with two additional premium packs that have a multitude of amazing features including Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Panoramic Glass Roof, heated front and rear seats and a premium sound system, plus other items to enhance your driving experience.

Polestar2 - sideview

If you have the desire to make your Polestar 2 even more than it is then you can upgrade it with the addition of the Performance Pack which comes at a further cost of £5,000.

Polestar has definitely not been holding back when it comes to ensuring it is offering the best and most comprehensive information for new owners of this EV.

Not only is the Polestar website full of photographs of the new vehicle, but it also is jam-packed with useful information that is easily found. There is even a detailed and neatly designed range tool that not only shows you how far the Polestar 2 can travel but also gives the user the opportunity to amend the road type, the external temperature, wheel type and use of the air conditioning to find out how these many variations will improve (or not) the range that you can drive before requiring another charge.

It turns out that while the combined WLTP range is 292 miles, by playing with the range checker on the website, you can see it’s possible, in optimal conditions, to get a massive 347 miles on a single charge. Of course, this is guaranteeing you have 19” wheels, are driving on city roads, aren’t using the air conditioning (AC) and it’s around 25℃ outside (so, not the best time to have the AC off).

Website Range Tool

To commemorate the launch of the Polestar 2 globally, the company has appropriately titled the first available model the Polestar 2 Launch Edition. It comes with 2 additional premium packages as standard and both are rammed with additional equipment that is sure to make the Polestar 2 even more of a pleasure to drive than it already is.

Included with the Launch Edition is the Pilot Pack. This is a great one for anyone who wants additional safety in their vehicle as it includes Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System, Lane Keeping Aid, Front and Rear Park Assist and a great deal more.

The other pack included in this model is the Plus Pack, which is more about aesthetics and comfort, including as it does a Panoramic glass roof, LED front headlights, heated front and rear seats and a top of the range sound system. The list for both packs is rather long but, needless to say, it makes a vehicle that already has a lot of selling points even more appealing.

Charging the Polestar 2

When you look at the Polestar 2 you can see why people are comparing it with the Tesla Model S. They are both sleek and stylish saloons, with the Polestar being sold as a 5-door fastback model. They can both go more than 250 miles on a single charge, which is important to anyone who is concerned about range when contemplating the shift to an electric vehicle (yes, the dreaded range-anxiety).

So, with that in mind, how is the Polestar 2 when it comes to charging? Are you going to be sitting around twiddling your thumbs for hours while you wait at a charging point for enough juice to get to your end destination?

Image of the Polestar2 charging point

For some, the idea of charging a car rather than just quickly filling it up with petrol or diesel is a frustrating thought. The fact that you may have to stop and wait around for longer than five or ten minutes is something that may put off many. So, the news that if you have access to a 150kW charging point at a public charging station it will only take you 40-minutes to charge from 0-80% will be welcome news. That’s the length of a decent podcast or a couple of episodes of The Big Bang Theory!

We all know that fuel prices have dropped somewhat over the last few months due to a lack of demand. But even so, the average price of 111.4p* per litre for petrol and 115.5p* per litre for diesel is much lower than people used to paying.

If you are currently looking at the Polestar 2 and thinking that it looks like the sort of vehicle you’re interested in, but you are still concerned about range, the savings could be a big persuader.

We have put together a list of similarly-priced petrol and diesel cars (below) that will give you an idea of the general cost differences between running one of them and the Polestar 2 which costs an average of £10.37 to charge at home and £11.56 at a public rapid charger for the full 292-347 mile range.

*Prices as at 21/07/2020

Petrol and Diesel car alternatives

Due to the advent of the global pandemic, delivery of the Launch Edition Polestar 2 has been postponed. It’s anticipated that the car will arrive in January 2021.

Only time will tell if it will be able to knock the ever-popular Tesla off the top-selling EV spot that it has been holding in the UK for the last 13 months.

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Rachel Richardson
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