Electric Vehicles

Polestar 1's all-electric range falls well-short of expectations

The Polestar 1 coupe is slated to start being delivered to customers in 2021.

Photo courtesy of Polestar

The Polestar 1 is the automaker's first fully branded automobile since Polestar was made into an independent manufacturer. The performance coupe shined with the expectation of delivering a hybrid, engaging drive when it debuted in 2017.

It was initially said that the plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) powertrain of the Polestar 1 could achieve up to 150 km (93 miles) of all-electric range (NDEC). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, that promise falls well-short of reality.

The Polestar 1 is powered by a hybrid powertrain that utilizes a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from the Volvo XC90 T8 and matches it with two electric motors that power the rear wheels. There is a 34.0-kilowatt-hour battery.

2020 Polestar 1 battery The car comes equipped with a 34-kilowatt-hour battery.Photo courtesy of Polestar

According to the automaker, the car has a power output is 600 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. Polestar says that the car can get to 100 km/hm off the line in 4.2 seconds.

According to EPA estimates, the car has an all-electric range of 52 miles and a total range of 470 miles. That electric range is only 55 percent of what was promised originally and is eight miles shorter than what Polestar has listed as the range on their U.S.-facing website.

Those numbers are good for 58 MPGe and 26 mpg combined out of the 15.9-gallon gas tank.

2020 Polestar 1 website Polestar's website currently claims the model gets 60 miles of range after initially saying it would have 93 miles of all-electric capability.Inset image courtesy of Polestar

The comparable 2020 BMW 530e has just 21 miles of all-electric range and 350 miles of overall range (12.1-gallon gas tank). It's priced at just one-third the price of the Polestar 1. The Mercedes-Benz S560e has 19 miles of all-electric range but a 510-mile overall range (21.1-gallon gas tank). It is only 70-percent the cost of the Polestar 1.

Despite having a plug-in powertrain, the EPA estimates that the average owner of the Polestar 1 and BMW 530e will spend $500 more in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle. The average Mercedes-Benz S560e owner will spend $1,250 more.

EPA Polestar 1 Image courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency

The Polestar 1 is on sale for $155,000. The company will make just 1,500 units of the Polestar 1, at the rage of 500 per year for the next three years. The first deliveries are slated to take place in early 2021.

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The Volvo C40 Recharge is a couple-like version of the XC40.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Earlier this week, Volvo announced that it is going all-in on electric vehicles by 2030. Now it's showing off its latest model, a take on the XC40 Recharge - the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge.

Taking a note from the Audi playbook, the C40 Recharge is a sloped roof version of the XC40 Recharge. It has sleeker design than its predecessor even though they both ride on the same platform. The face of the model shows off a new design path for Volvo and has headlights with state-of-the-art pixel technology, something also on the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Volvo has given the car an electric powertrain that consists of two electric motors, one on the front axle and one at the back, which are powered by a 78-kilowatt-hour battery that can be charged to 80 percent in 40 minutes. It has an expected range of 260 miles.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

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The C40 Recharge offers a high seating position and is available in a large range of color ways. It is the first Volvo model to be completely leather-free. Volvo has given the model its infotainment system, which runs on Android technology. Apps such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store are built in. The tech allows for over-the-air updates.

Volvo will only sell the C40 Recharge online and it will come with a care package.

"The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going," said Henrik Green, chief technology officer. "It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package and will be available for quick delivery. Getting a new Volvo was never this attractive."

The XC40 was Volvo's first all-electric car. Volvo promises additional electric models are on their way in the coming years. The automaker predicts that by 2025, 50 percent of its global sales volume will consist of fully electric cars. The rest will be hybrids. To achieve this, Volvo is expected to lean heavily on the Asian and European markets where EVs are more popular with buyers due to government regulation.

The C40 Recharge will go in production this fall and will be built alongside the XC40 Recharge at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium.

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Volvo is transitioning to an all-electric lineup.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars is the latest company to take their commitment to electric powertrains to a new level. Unlike other automakers, like Land Rover who is promising an electric option for its model lineup, Volvo is planning to make their whole lineup electric by 2030.

This means that there will only be all-electric cars and SUVs in its global portfolio and all internal combustion engine and hybrid models will be phased out. By 2025, it aims for 50 percent of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids. By 2040, the company hopes to be carbon neutral. Nissan has similar goals.

Volvo XC40 The Volvo XC40 is currently offered as an all-electric model.Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

Volvo XC40

Additionally, the brand is rolling out a new commercial strategy that will have them invest heavily in online sales channels in a move to reduce the complexity of its product offerings and set pricing on models, eliminating bargaining at the point of sale, something that the Saturn brand was known for. Via VolvoCars.com buyers will be able to choose from pre-configured electric Volvos that are ready for ordering and quick delivery.

"The future of Volvo Cars is defined by three pillars: electric, online and growth," says Lex Kerssemakers, Head of Global Commercial Operations at Volvo Cars. "We want to offer our customers peace of mind and a care-free way of having a Volvo, by taking away complexity while getting and driving the car. Simplification and convenience are key to everything we do."

Customer offerings will all be housed under one brand, Care by Volvo, which was, until now, the name of the company's subscription service platform.

Dealerships and sales associates still factor into the company's plans. That's good, because many states require new car sales to occur only though an authorized dealership, a point of contention for emerging brands due to the expense and logistic annoyance of establishing a dealer network. Dealerships will be tasked with "a variety of important services such as selling, preparing, delivering and servicing cars" according to a release.

Volvo online ordering and financing process

Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

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"Online and off-line need to be fully and seamlessly integrated," added Lex Kerssemakers. "Wherever the customer is in their journey – online, in a showroom, in a Volvo Studio, or driving the car – the customer experience needs to be top-notch."

The purchase of an electric Volvo will include a package of traditional extras including service, warranty, roadside assistance, insurance (where available), and home charging options. Sans the insurance, many electric vehicle manufacturers offer these extras already.

"There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine," said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. "We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030. It will allow us to meet the expectations of our customers and be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change."

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