Oct 23, 2020 - Economy

What we're driving: Polestar 2 electric vehicle

Polestar 2 electric vehicle. Photo: Polestar

Polestar 2 electric vehicle. Photo: Polestar

This week's car is from an electric vehicle brand you might not be familiar with: Polestar.

The big picture: Originally a Swedish racing brand, Polestar was acquired in 2015 by Volvo Cars, which put the Polestar label on its high-performance models —similar to Mercedes’ AMG hot rod label.

  • In 2017, Volvo and its Chinese parent, Geely, made Polestar a stand-alone EV brand.
  • It’s also an innovation lab for new technologies that could show up later in Volvo and Geely models.

Details: The Polestar 2, as its name suggests, is the brand’s second model, following the $155,000, limited edition Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid.

  • The $59,900 Polestar 2, the first fully electric model, features a 78-kWh battery and two motors — one on each axle — that together produce an exhilarating 408 horsepower.
  • The EPA-estimated range is 233 miles — still 90 miles less than a Tesla Model 3 — and it can recharge to 80% in 40 minutes at a public fast charger.

What’s new: The Polestar 2 is the first car embedded with Google’s Android automotive operating system.

  • It provides access to Google Maps, Google Assistant and Google Play apps through the 11-inch touchscreen and is compatible with both iPhones and Android-powered devices.
  • Also notable is the Polestar 2's widespread use of sustainable materials.

The bottom line: Polestar 2 is a newcomer worth knowing.

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