Polestar is spinning up the campaign for its all-new fully electric compact sedan, the Polestar 2, and it has the Tesla Model 3 in its sights. An “independent firm” hired by Polestar to do a simulated highway test showed the Tesla was the least efficient of five vehicles tested.
Full disclosure: the news of this study is sourced from Polestar, the new electric car company partnered with Volvo under their mutual Geely ownership. The study was conducted by FT Tech, which claims to be an independent automotive research group in Michigan that can be hired for car testing like IIHS and NCAP standardization, among other things.
In Polestar’s test, the goal was to examine the efficiency of five electric cars currently on sale in a “real-world” environment, to see how much of the car’s claimed range the vehicle could actually achieve at sustained highway speeds.
Here’s a breakdown of the testing parameters, via Roadshow:
On Thursday, Volvo Cars’ electric car division shared the results of an independent range study, which FT Techno conducted at its proving grounds in Fowlerville, Michigan. Aside from a standard Polestar 2 and one of the sedans equipped with the Performance Package, FT Techno invited a Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-Tron and the aforementioned Model 3, specifically a Model 3 Performance.
While each car clocked its EPA-estimated combined rating fairly well, the study showed some of the cars don’t quite deliver as well at high speeds. In this case, 70 mph around an oval track to mimic a road trip. With the climate control set to 72 degrees inside, and the sunnier skies creating an 85-degree outside temperature, each of the cars ran until their batteries depleted with regenerative braking off or toggled to the least-aggressive setting.
And here’s a result of the cars going around that oval at those speeds for that amount of time:
- Audi E-Tron - 92 percent of claimed EPA range.
- Polestar 2 - 82 percent of claimed automaker range.
- Jaguar I-Pace - 80 percent of claimed EPA range.
- Polestar 2 Performance Pack - 79 percent of claimed automaker range.
- Tesla Model 3 Performance - 75 percent of claimed EPA range.
Again, these numbers only measure how much of the vehicle’s claimed range was actually achieved in highway conditions. Looking at the actual final distance traveled, the Tesla Model 3 still traveled the furthest, achieving 234 miles total. The standard Polestar 2 achieved 205 miles, the 2 with the performance package got 197 miles, the Jaguar I-Pace 188 miles, and the Audi E-Tron managed 187 miles.
So while the Tesla may be the least efficient, it still can achieve the most range, at least driving in a circle at 70 MPH with the AC set to a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
The point being made here, at least by Polestar, is that its vehicle is potentially more energy-efficient, and you should buy a Polestar 2 instead of the Tesla Model 3 because of that. Just ignore the 30-plus extra miles you’ll get out of the Tesla overall.