Polestar goes after Tesla with $59,900 starting price for its new ‘2’ sportback
BY CALLUM HUNTER
AUSTRALIA looks like it could be about to ignite a new electric vehicle (EV) pricing war following confirmation of the Polestar 2’s $59,900 (plus costs) starting mark – exactly the same as the entry-level Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus RWD.
A lot of people would probably associate the Polestar name with race-prepped Volvos of yesterday, but the performance division broke away not all that long ago to become its own entity specialising in EVs. While it may not be in racing anymore, it’s clearly gunning for a fight.
A self-proclaimed premium brand, the 2’s shockingly low pricetag not only sticks it to Tesla, but also undercuts several of its key incoming rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 ($71,900) and challenges some of the established mainstream favourites like the Kona Electric (from $54,500) and Nissan Leaf+ (from $60,490).
Three versions of the 2 will be offered by Polestar locally, consisting of the Standard Range Single Motor ($59,900), Long Range Single Motor ($64,900) and Long Range Dual Motor ($69,900) – two of which qualify for the New South Wales and Victorian EV rebate schemes.
According to Polestar Australia managing director Samantha Johnson, the sharp pricing is designed to help draw new-car buyers away from internal-combustion vehicles and make the transition to EVs.
“One of the one of the real detractors from people moving from petrol engines to an EV is the price point (of EVs),” she said.
“We want to give people choice; they can come in at that level, that entry level, and take advantage of the rebates … and stamp duty incentives.
“So, we wanted to have it at a level where people can take advantage of that and it really can help consumers come over from petrol engines into EVs.”
Power in the 2 Standard Range Single Motor comes courtesy of a 64kW/h lithium-ion battery and, as the name implies, a single electric motor developing 165kW/330Nm.
Both of those outputs are down on the equivalent Model 3 (211kW/375Nm), as is the claimed 440km range – 448km for the Tesla.
Nevertheless, Polestar says the 2 Standard Range Single Motor will go from 0-100km/h in an untardy 7.4 seconds and push on to 160km/h.
Opt for the Long Range Single Motor variant and customers will be rewarded with a bigger 78kW/h battery which boosts the effective range up to around 540km, however the extra juice has no impact on performance at all, despite an extra 5kW being thrown in.
Using the same 78kW/h battery but adding another electric motor to the mix (on the rear axle) is the Long Range Dual Motor which develops a meaty 300kW/660Nm.
The mountain of extra power and torque has a profound effect on the 2’s performance with 0-100km/h completed in 4.5 seconds while the top speed is lifted to 205km/h, however the effective range does drop to 480km on account of the extra mechanical tax.
In terms of charging, all versions will take a claimed 35 minutes to go from 10-80 per cent when hooked up to a DC fast charger, however the two different batteries have different maximum charging capacities.
For the base model, it’s 116kW whereas the Long Range duo can be charged at up to 155kW.
Taking a leaf out of Genesis’ book, all three variants share the same trim level in terms of standard equipment and safety tech with kit highlights including an Android-based 11.2-inch infotainment system, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, vegan upholstery, keyless entry, 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, cruise control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Those hoping for or wanting a bit more will be able to opt for a trio of optional packages, however the $8000 Performance Pack is only available on the Long Range Dual Motor.
Ms Johnson said that while local interest in the brand had been particularly strong, more had to be done in terms of brand awareness for those who aren’t familiar with the Polestar name.
“So far we’ve got our website live; consumers can go online now and sign up for our newsletter and also sign up for our test drive interest,” she said.
“We’ve way outdone our targets of where we thought we would be, there’s so much more consumer demand coming in.”