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Sunday Drive: A long-distance journey in the 2024 Polestar 2

By Craig and Deanne Conover - Daily Herald | May 18, 2024
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Deanne with the Polestar at Buc-ees north of Denver after we attended the Denver Auto Show, our first long-distance foray in the Polestar before we started for home the next day.
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Inside the Polestar 2 BST edition.
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Charging the Polestar in Frisco, Colorado, after the 122-mile drive up and over the continental divide on our way home from Denver.
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Inside the Polestar 2 BST edition.
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We woke up on Saturday morning to a couple of inches of snow on the Polestar as we left the hotel and headed west for our home in Springville. We encountered snow-packed roads up and over the Vail Pass.

Our recent trip to the Denver Auto Show provided the perfect opportunity to get behind the wheel of our first Polestar electric vehicle, the aptly named Polestar 2. This unique brand, now owned by Volvo, offers a streamlined car-buying experience that revolves around online shopping and test drives at their designated “spaces.” With the closest spaces located in Denver or Phoenix, our new Polestar would have to be picked up after a web purchase.

Currently, Polestar offers two EVs: the Polestar 1 (a plug-in hybrid) and the all-electric Polestar 2. The Polestar 2 boasts impressive performance numbers, packing 455 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, launching this unassuming sedan from 0 to 60 in a mere 4 seconds.

After a series of travel delays, we finally picked up our Polestar around 11 p.m. at a Denver airport parking lot. New to the electric car world, we fumbled for a start button that didn’t exist. A quick look at the press materials revealed a keyless system: The car simply turns on when you enter, and shuts down and locks itself when you leave. This feature took some getting used to, with Craig leaving the car running with the key fob inside on multiple occasions!

We knew that we would be coming all the way home, over 500 miles, in the Polestar over the course of a couple of days. So after attending the Denver Auto Show on Thursday morning, we took a side trip north of Denver to Buc-ees. If you have never been to a Buc-ees, it is totally worth the extra miles and time it took to go see a 75,000-square-foot convenience store with 116 gas pumps out front.

After that, we headed toward the front range and took the back roads back to Lone Tree, Colorado, where we were staying the night, and it gave us a chance to deplete the battery so that we could charge and get a real experience in heading home having to charge along the way.

This first day out with the Polestar also got us more acquainted with how luxurious it was and also what a great performance vehicle it really was. It continued to be hard to not just let it rip every time we had to stop for any reason. The power with an all-electric vehicle was intoxicating every time we got behind the wheel.

This being the longest all-electric road trip we have been on to date — 547 miles form our motel in Lone Tree to our home in Springville — it seemed like the math would have been easy. With a 247-mile range, we should have been able to charge twice on the way home and make it all the way with ease.

If only electric vehicles worked like that and would go the distance they say they will. However, there are many factors that will affect the range, including hills, wind, if you want to stay warm or cool on the drive, and outside temperatures along the way.

That being said, counting the charge we had to make in Denver to get started where we took the sedan to 86%, we ended up charging four more times along the route home. We did take and extended trip to Frisco where we spent the night Friday via Fairplay, Colorado, that added about 40 miles to the trip.

The goal is to charge to 80% each time along the way and continue on one’s way, which would give us around 210-220 miles of range. We charged the Polestar to 81% that evening on a perfect 65-degree day at 9,000 feet.

Mother Nature decided to throw in some extra sauce for our next day’s adventure as we awoke to 2 inches of snow on the ground as we left and headed for what we thought would be a stop in Grand Junction at a fast-charging station.

It took longer than we expected heading over Vail Pass on snow-covered roads and we had the heater on to stay warm in the late spring storm. The Polestar recommend that we charge up in Glenwood Springs instead of our intended Grand Junction stop as it pegged us to be at 4% upon arrival there.

So we stopped and went from 44% to 80% and headed on to Grand Junction, where we again stopped with 45% and went to 80% again, knowing that we would have to stop in Green River, Utah, for sure in order to make it home, which we did, as we were at 23% after going a mere 100 miles at 80 mph with a strong 20 mph headwind.

All in all, we paid just over $114 to get from Denver to Springville using the DC fast-charging infrastructure and added about three hours and 14 minutes to our drive home. It was a different experience to be sure, and we think we would get better at it with time.

We have taken two trips to St. George and back in all-electric vehicles along with this extended Denver-to-Springville adventure, and our range anxiety diminished with each trip. Especially now, we know more what to expect — like how to get the chargers to work, download all the apps necessary for charging and the like.

The Polestar also is the first vehicle in the world to come complete with Android Automotive OS, featuring Google Maps, the Google Play Store and Google Voice all built into the auto.

We loved the new Polestar. It was a fantastic automobile that made a long journey home oh so enjoyable. It is definitely in the same luxury class as Volvo!

Base price: $63,000

Destination charge: $1,400

Price as driven: $69,650

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