Polestar Is Trying To Do Something About Price

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Photo: Polestar

The Polestar 2 is an excellent electric car that in a just world would pose a proper challenge to Tesla but has had somewhat of a slow start, perhaps deliberately. Also, Polestars are expensive, though Polestar said Tuesday it was trying to do something about that.

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Somewhat annoyingly, Polestar did not give exact pricing figures for the two new variants of the Polestar 2 it announced, only that it would be “reducing base pricing,” so something below the $59,900 that the Polestar 2 currently starts at.

All three versions of the Polestar 2 will look virtually the same. All three will also have an infotainment system powered by Android, in addition to things like vegan upholstery, 19-inch wheels, and LED lights on the front and rear. Here are the details on the two new ones:

The new single motor Polestar 2 is a formidable entrant to the premium EV segment. The single motor Polestar 2 retains the 78 kWh battery of the dual motor variants, enabling the vehicle to deliver an EPA range of approximately 260 miles. The car will go even further on a charge when fitted with the new Plus Pack, thanks to the addition of a heat pump. The single motor Polestar 2 also features 231 hp, up from the 204 hp on each axle of the dual motor variant.

The dual motor Polestar 2 is now available in a simplified configuration, offering more flexibility to create a bespoke vehicle that suits the customer’s needs. The dual motor Polestar 2 features an estimated EPA range of 240 miles, and can go even further on a charge when fitted with the new Plus Pack, thanks to the addition of the aforementioned heat pump.

Remaining in the lineup is the Polestar 2 Launch Edition. Available now for immediate delivery across the US and Canada, the Launch Edition offers a fully-loaded vehicle at a slight price advantage vs. adding individual packages to a dual-motor Polestar 2.

Polestar also said that it would be offering new options packages, presumably to add price flexibility for customers there, in that customers will be able to buy a stripped-down Polestar 2 or one with more luxury options. The options packages include the Plus Pack, which spruces up the interior, adds a Harmon Kardan sound system, and adds a heat pump, which can extend the car’s range in cold conditions; the Pilot Pack, which adds various semiautonomous systems; and the Performance Pack, which is already available and adds bigger wheels, better brakes, and a sportier suspension.

Still, it is the single motor Polestar 2 that I expect will be the value one, though “value” here may mean a $55,000 car (not counting federal and state incentives) versus a $59,900 one. Polestar said exact pricing would be available in the “coming weeks,” though I fear any starting price (after incentives) higher than the $38,490 that the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus starts at would be a disappointment. Polestar said the single-motor version will arrive later this year.

DISCUSSION

By
curbwatching

Consumers want an EV that’s got great range and style at a reasonable price.

Manufacturers want to sell a $60,000 tech-fest that goes 0-60 in 3 seconds, drives itself, that they can claim is a “luxury” car.

Just sell people a $25,000 hatchback with 300 miles of range. No self-driving, no giant screens with sixteen-camera 3D views of the car, it can accelerate like a Leaf, who cares. Instant torque is fun at any horsepower.

Nissan and Chevy screwed up by making dorky-looking cars that still cost too much.

The first manufacturer to make a truly desirable $25k EV with basic features and solid quality is going to win. The over-$60k luxury-tech market has too few customers and too many competitors.