Driving an EV for the first time: My experience with Polestar 2

Tesla has an edge when it comes to software, charging ecosystem, and amazing performance.

BHPian sandeepmohan Recently shared this with other hobbyists.

I had the opportunity to drive the Polestar 2 for a few hours and for a distance of only 100 km. These are some notes from the drive.

The car is the basic variant of the Polestar 2. Brand new batting. It was less than 300 km on the odometer. The vehicle provider was Mevo which is a self-driving car provider. They have a few gas cars in their fleet. Polestar 2 is their first electric option. Polestar 2 is the base variant with a 69 kWh battery, a front-wheel drive single-wheel drive and a claimed WLTP range of 470 km. 231 hp and 330 Nm of torque.

From the looks department, they’ve played it conservatively. Nothing great here. The proportions are beautiful and the design is elegant. It’s classified as a sedan even though it sits higher than one. Viewing it from IRVM for another car, you could mistake it for an SUV because of the high stance. The car has a fairly wide footprint when you look at it. Entry and exit are easy. I would say that the back of this car stands out more than the front. The long red light bar on the shoe is real class. These frameless outside mirrors look beautiful. The trunk lid opens like a bounce. Heaps of space and depth to easily take luggage for four people and still have room left for a few soft bags. The windshield wiper arms are integrated with the washer nozzles. When you press the windshield washer, you see a trail of water as the wiper lever moves through the windshield. The paint quality is first class.

The conservative approach continues at home. The materials are different. Nothing excellent to touch or feel. It has a black and gray interior and appears to be built to last. People who expect class German interiors will not find this car attractive in terms of interior designations. You’ll find materials in Volvo that are superior to the Polestar 2. I don’t think the intention was to be a pioneer in this car. Maybe the top part sorts this out somewhat. Even the seats are not typical of your Volvo. It looks as if they copied the design (Volvo seats are known for their excellent comfort and support) and stripped a lot of padding in the process. Under the thigh support for the driver’s seat is fine. I wish the seat base was a little longer. Drivers >6ft will notice a lack of support under the thighs, especially on long rides. Standard heated front seats. Back seat space is fine. As with most cars these days, 4 seats more than 5.

I’ll get two small negative bits out of the way first. It can be a bargain for some.

  • I could not find the full power seat operation of the driver’s seat. The seat back was reclined by the old school rotary knob. There were buttons for the memory seats so I think there is a way to adjust the seat back electrically. I couldn’t find it.
  • I couldn’t figure out how to operate the motorized wipers. I didn’t find an automatic mode similar to what was on the stalk lights. I had to manually erase or set it to intermittent mode.

Driving impressions

All you have to do is jump, engage D and move. There is no Start-Stop button. Your drive or gear selector is all there is. When you want to park, you have to engage P, apply the electric parking brake and exit.

This was the first time I had been behind the wheel of an electric car. Before I get involved in anything, I thought, Let me drive it in whatever mode it is and see what it looks like, as that is how most people would drive. It took me a minute to understand what this car would do. There was no movement after I engaged the D, so I decided to put the accelerator on the feathers and we were off.

It’s eerily quiet on the inside. It was clear from the start that single pedal driving was set to a high level. I got used to it in a short while. Feeling calm is what you notice first. The absence of any noise or vibration in the drive train should be tested. I don’t think any gas engine can beat an electric motor for this.

Stop-and-go acceleration is where the Polestar excels. It’s fast off the mark. You will be the first to step out of the line at any traffic light. it’s a pleasure. Line it up and you built a gap longer than the car’s length with the car next to you. I used Adaptive Cruise even inside town, setting a speed of 50 km/h. The car accelerated and stopped on its own. All I did was steer the car.

The program is intuitive. Press a single button on the steering wheel to operate adaptive cruises with the Pilot Assist option. Pilot Assist helps keep the vehicle in lane and makes minor steering adjustments. I stuck to the first.

On narrow roads with a lot of blind bends, the car tends to slow down more than one would like, especially if there are vehicles parked to the side. I think caution is taken or the system can’t see or detect a very far distance when there are obstructions. It is better to take control of driving in such situations. I might never give in to 100% self-driving, but something like adaptive cruise is useful on a city cycle as well. It makes driving easy.

On the open road, this sense of calm continues. You can turn on your stereo at low levels and still hear everything. It is these little things that stand out in an electric car. There is some tire noise creeping into highway speeds. I’ve been in some Lexus cars as a passenger where the road noise filters have been better.

The suspension is taut. I think with EV, they should be. The car is running flat. I won’t comment on the maneuvering because I’ve never pushed the car into the bend. Weight of 2 tons is clear. I don’t think this is a car you’ll want to drive around, even if you have the ability to do so.

Braking feels almost natural, like a gas-powered car. With brake regeneration at a high level, you can control this vehicle with limited use of the brakes. Steering feel is good and light to use. Acceleration at highway speed is fine. You won’t stress your neck muscles with 230 horsepower. You will outrun the car in front of you without rushing.

It’s a little ironic that Polestar is (or was supposed to) to be Volvo’s performance suite. That didn’t apply to this car, or perhaps the higher horsepower version could be true with what the Polestar was supposed to stand on. I don’t think any of this is important.

I haven’t explored the technology side much. It’s a connected car like a Tesla. Google comes built in. There is no need to connect your phone if you want to use Google Maps or Spotify. I think this is where the main difference lies when you compare Tesla to any other electric car. You’re buying an ecosystem on a Tesla while the likes of Polestar and everyone else are on their back on Google, etc. If you use Google Maps, the entire map can be mirrored on the widget console. Other vital information about the vehicle is kept in the corners of the screen. I will refrain from stereo comments because the source was radio. There should be some Air Woofer technology placed under the windshield.

I think a car like this can take away the stress levels of everyday driving because it’s so quiet. Once you’ve tried an electric car, there’s no need to look back. The range was the least of my problems. I started with a 35% charge and paid the least amount of attention to the way I used the accelerator. The battery level dropped to 17% and I had a range of 100 km when I parked my car. I doubt if you need any greater scope than this.

Polestar claims a charging time of 7 hours at a standard, 3-phase, 16-amp AC outlet. I understand that these are the rates claimed by the manufacturer. Even if you could only run 4-5 hours on the socket every 4-5 days, you would have plenty of range to get you going.

Prices are good for Polestar 2. In New Zealand, the car sells for NZ$70,000. Slightly less money than the Tesla Model 3. The other major competitors are the Lexus UX300E, Mazda’s MX-30, Peugeot’s E-2008, and the Hyundai IONIQ 5. Lexus and Hyundai sell for $10,000 more! Compared to gas-powered cars, it’s $10,000 cheaper than the new 320i. For someone shopping for a new car at this price point, there isn’t much left for a gasoline-powered car.

There are currently 22 Battery EV (or BEV) models for sale in New Zealand. Another 43 are being added over the next two quarters. A sure sign of where the world is heading.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed driving the Polestar 2. If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle, the Polestar 2 will be one to highly consider. I love the look, it feels solid, it pulls well and it drives really well. This car can be “do it all”. You don’t need a gasoline car in the garage, even on those long trips.

The only real competition for the Polestar 2 comes from Tesla. Personally; I love the look of the Polestar 2 on the Tesla. The latter needs a design update. The advantage that Tesla has over the Polestar is when it comes to software, its charging system and amazing performance. This is where the Polestar 2 gets hard to sell. Personally, I love the car where I can jump and drive (you can do that in a Tesla too). The fancy software bits are of little use to me. This is why I find more attraction towards Polestar 2. The transition feels natural.

The sedan sits on 19-inch SUV rims.

Interior design that makes you feel at home. The watches are placed in front of the driver and all parts of the technology are focused on the center display. The center console extends as an armrest as well. The center vents don’t move around much. I guess they can’t cause they are already skewed towards the ceiling.

Shoe size isn’t too obvious here. It can take a lot of luggage. Like a few other mods I didn’t get to understand, I couldn’t open the shoe with my usual one-footed salsa motion. The feature is there.

The room at the back was fine. You are sitting high which is a good thing. I don’t know why the electric car needs a central transmission tunnel. It has something in there because it’s huge.

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#Driving #time #experience #Polestar

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