Nothing beats real-world experience. That moment when the hypothesis is tested. When all the planning and predictions are put into practice. When expectation meets reality. For Polestar employees Anya Ernest and Fredrik Magnusson, this rubber-meets-the-road moment was literal, as they became the first people to drive the Polestar 2 from its hometown of Gothenburg to the northern Swedish city of Boden and back.
“We specifically planned this trip because we’re working with all these things in theory,” states Magnusson. “We’re sitting in meetings, making presentations, and so on. How many of us have actually driven 3000 km in an EV?”
As both have familial connections to the Swedish county of Norrbotten, they fastened their gold-coloured seatbelts and headed north, plotting a course that took them through Mariestad, Örebro, Sala, Gävle, Sundsvall, Örnsköldsvik, Skellefteå, Umeå, Luleå, and finally to Boden.
“As we couldn’t go abroad, we thought this would be a nice alternative,” says Ernest. “I mean, I’ve been working with both charging and Android Automotive for the past year, and it was truly amazing to experience it in reality.”
And in taking on the mantle of road-trippers, they also took on the mantle of consumers. This was no prototype they were piloting. This was the real thing. Magnusson’s own Polestar 2, in fact. Therefore, they were experiencing the Polestar 2 from two perspectives: as first-time owners, and as Polestar employees trying a product they’ve been working tirelessly to bring to life. As such, they were uniquely positioned to be true brand ambassadors, educating those who approached them to ask about the Polestar 2.
Of which there were more than a few. “We met a couple in Boden who are obsessed with classic cars, and they’d never driven an electric one,” relates Ernest when asked about how well they were able to preach the gospel of electric mobility on this trip. “So, we took them out for a drive. Aside from their reactions when they accelerated, they were most surprised by how quiet it was. Sound is a big part of the experience with classic cars. It’s also a big part of the EV experience, but in a completely different way.”
A meet-up for EV owners in Umeå provided another opportunity to spread the fully electric word. This event had roughly 40 attendees, all of whom were impressed by both the build quality and design of the Polestar 2. The only reservation any of them had was around charging. Which, according to Ernest and Magnusson, couldn’t have been less of an issue.
“To be honest, I was a little worried about going up north,” admits Ernest. “We never once had a problem. We just told Google Maps where we were going, and it told us where to charge. It was so cool.”
“It just felt like a more sustainable way to travel,” continues Magnusson. “We drove down to Majorca last year in an ICE car, and even though we didn’t fly, we still felt kind of bad about it. It was also much more expensive compared to this trip.”
This guilt-free aspect was not only due to the fact that Polestar 2 is a zero-emissions vehicle (though of course that’s a factor), but also due to the various charging stations along the way that were powered by clean, renewable energy. “Most of the municipal charging stations were run on clean energy,” states Ernest. “Skellefteå, Gävle, and more.” This factor, coupled with the Polestar 2’s regenerative braking, meant that clean power was on hand and readily available for the duration of the trip.
“It’s a wonderful car,” concludes Magnusson. “The driving experience is fantastic, the acceleration is amazing, and the interaction with the infotainment system works perfectly.”
This trip was, essentially, a post-release product trial. A seven-day-long litmus test that the Polestar 2 passed with flying colours, which also provided irreplaceable real-world data.
“If you own an EV and charge it publicly, you’ll never experience bad weather,” quips Ernest when asked about lessons learned from this trip. “Not a single charging station had a roof. That must mean 45 minutes of guaranteed good weather, right?”
Time is running out. To stay within the 1.5-degree target, we need to take immediate action. In the quest for circularity, transitioning to electric transport is one of several imperative steps. This step calls for a change in behaviour, from people, businesses, and governments. Because frankly, we don’t have time not to.