Polestar 1 electric range falls well below initial estimates

Polestar touted a 93-mile range when the coupe debuted three years ago, but the EPA found it to come in far less than that.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Polestar 1
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2020 Polestar 1

The 1 won't go as far as once thought.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

To borrow some words from Roadshow Managing Editor Steve Ewing, the Polestar 1 is gorgeous, but it doesn't necessarily break any ground for the newly minted brand. It's a plug-in hybrid, while all future Polestar models will be purely electric, and it makes some compromises for the $155,000 price. As my colleague wrote, the 1 is more like a rolling billboard.

What the Polestar 1 did have going for it when it debuted in 2017 was an estimated electric range more than any other plug-in hybrid on the market at the time. The company touted a 93-mile electric-only range, which was greater than some purely electric cars sold years ago. The EPA, however, found the range is much lower, with an estimate of 52 miles to a charge.

The figure is somewhat disappointing after the hype, but it's also taken Polestar some time to put the 1 into production -- likely thanks to its highly complex carbon-fiber chassis. Today, there are plenty of plug-in hybrids that rival the range. The top dog was the now-discontinued Chevy Volt and its 53-mile range estimate, though a handful of new cars still sit at dealers. The BMW i3 REx serves as the PHEV range heir with a 126-mile electric range before a tiny gasoline engine kicks in to carry drivers home. For a (much) cheaper option, the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid will return 48 miles on a charge.

At the end of the day, the range, price and overall package isn't a deal breaker. There will only be 1,500 Polestar 1 coupes made, kind of as an inaugural present for the brand. The future starts with the number 2, as in the Polestar 2 and its mission to take on the Tesla Model 3.

Watch this: 2020 Polestar 1: Performance plug-in powers up for production

2020 Polestar 1 is a pretty, powerful plug-in

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