Polestar 2 – What Can It Tow?

Hi, I’m Chris. About Me

Polestar is a new car brand and a subsidiary of the Volvo Car Group. The foundations of the Polestar brand are as a racing team. Therefore, while Volvo will/are producing electric cars under their own brand, it appears they will use the Polestar brand to offer electric cars which appeal to a younger audience than those who are typically attracted to buying a Volvo. The Polestar 2 shares the same electric platform (battery/motors) as the Volvo XC40 Recharge and the Polestar 2 has an official UK towing capacity of 1,500 kg.

Polestar 2 Towing
The Polestar 2 towing a fairly light-duty trailer/load: Image – Polestar.com

Key Polestar 2 Specs

  • Official Towing Capacity – 1,500 kg (all versions)
  • Availability – Now
  • Price – Starting from £39,900 (Standard Range/Single Motor) > £45,900 (Long Range/Dual Motor)
  • Range (EV Database) – 215 Miles (Standard Range/Single Motor) > 265 miles (Long Range/Single Motor)
  • Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 108 Miles (Standard Range/Single Motor) > 133 miles (Long Range/Single Motor)
  • Maximum DC Charge Rate – 115 kW (Standard Range/Single Motor) > 151 kW (Long Range versions)
  • Rapid Charge 10% to 80% – 34 min (Standard Range/Single Motor) > 32 min (Long Range versions)
  • Check Used Polestar 2 Specs

Polestar 2 HP & Torque

  • Standard Range Single Motor – 221 HP and 243 lb-ft of torque
  • Long Range Single Motor – 228 HP and 243 lb-ft of torque
  • Long Range Dual Motor – 402 HP and 487 lb-ft of torque

Polestar 2 Towing Capabilities

The first version of the Polestar 2 to arrive in the UK was a Long Range Dual Motor version. However, two more versions have now been added to the line-up. Both are FWD versions, one with the Long Range battery (78 kWh) and the Standard Range with a smaller 64 kWh battery.

What is good to see is that all UK versions of the Polestar 2 get the same 1,500kg towing capacity which isn’t the case with some of the competition (see VW ID.4). However, the Standard Range Polestar 2 with its smaller battery obviously has less range while towing and notably it has a slower DC rapid charge rate too.

Press Release Confusion On Towing Capacity

So in December 2018, Polestar provided a global press release (here) which stated the Polestar 2 would have a ‘class-leading towing capacity’ of 1,500 kg, which is just over 3,300 lbs. There were then later press releases stating the towing capacity was just 2,000 lbs (907 kg)?

However, it now appears that Polestar is stating all UK versions of the Polestar 2 (even the Standard Range Single Motor) can tow up to 1,500 kg. Its only the US specification vehicles which are getting the lower 2,000 lbs (907 kg) towing capacity which is disappointing for them.

Original 1,500 kg Polestar 2 Towing Capacity
Screenshot of the December 2018 Polestar global press release: Image – Polestar.com

Polestar 2 (Long Range Dual Motor) Real World Range

As of yet, I cannot find any resources to reference for towing tests conducted with the Polestar 2 and range results. Therefore, until there are some I wanted to reference a Polestar 2 range test conducted by Bjørn Nyland in Norway.

Bjørn produces some of the most detailed EV tests you will currently find, and his range test results of the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor produced some interesting results. Please note though, the video below is 23 minutes long, and I will be summarising Bjørn’s findings below.

Range test of the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor

So Bjørn found that travelling in pretty ideal conditions at 90 km/h (55 mph) the Polestar produced a range of 270 miles which is below the WLTP figure of 292 miles. Furthermore, at 120 km/h (75 mph) the Polestar returned 189 miles of range.

The above is an example of why I don’t reference the WLTP figures for EV’s in the Key Stats and I reference the EV-Database instead which provides a more realistic average real-world range figure.

On my Polestar 2 article on electrictowcars.com, I reference the EPA range which is 233 miles. Polestar is not happy about that figure and disputes it as an accurate reflection of the car’s capabilities.

However, looking at Bjørn’s results above, to me it does look like the real world range figure as an average considering colder weather conditions will be in the 233-235 mile bracket.

Polestar Long Range Single vs Dual Motor Range/Effiecency

There is now the option to choose a single motor version of the Polestar 2 which does have a longer real-world range of 265 miles and is more efficient by losing the additional motor.

The Long Range Dual Motor version typically consumes 305 wh/mile compared to the Long Range Single Motor at 280 wh/mile. Check out my article on electric car efficiency to understand what those figures mean.

Now, you don’t have to have AWD for a vehicle to be a good tow car, though it obviously helps when it comes to traction, especially pulling away. Then again, there are many excellent RWD tow cars as the trailer/caravan places additional weight on the rear axle giving it good traction. However, the Long Range Single Motor Polestar 2 is not RWD its FWD.

Therefore, while the Long Range Single Motor Polestar 2 will give a notable increase in range especially when towing compared to the Dual Motor variant, its front-wheel-drive powertrain is by no means ideal for towing.

Tesla Model 3/Y Comparisons

In many cases, Polestar has welcomed comparisons to the Tesla Model 3 when journalists rate the handling and build quality of the Polestar 2 as superior. However, it doesnt look so favourable when you consider a Tesla Model 3 ‘Long Range’ AWD for the same money will roughly go a further 60 miles.

Granted, in terms of towing capacity the Polestar 2 (1,500 kg) and Tesla Model 3 (1,000 kg) are not equals. And the single motor varients of the Polestar 2 are considerably cheaper than the Tesla Model 3.

Really, the Polestar 2 as an electric tow car should be more directly compared against the Tesla Model Y and other competition from the IONIQ 5, EV6 and BMW i4 which are all hatchbacks and tow slightly more at 1,600kg.

Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Review

Below is the Fully Charged review for the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor which Robert is very happy with in terms of how the car looks, drives and the fit and finish of the vehicle.

Robert has previously owned a Tesla Model S and currently owns a Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor. Therefore Robert is in a good position to provide context to how the Polestar 2 compares to his Tesla Model 3.

What is the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor like as just an electric car in general?

As you can see from the video above, Robert is very impressed with the Polestar 2 and actually prefers it to his Tesla Model 3 in several regards. The key difference is at this time the Polestar 2 is fully dependant on the public rapid charging network, where Tesla also provides its own Supercharger network.

Now when purely used as an electric car, that difference may not be so significant for some users. However, as an electric tow car, I currently believe access to the Tesla Supercharger network can potentially make a big difference.

Polestar Long Range Single Motor Review

Below I’ve included the Electrifying review of the Long Range Single Motor Polestar 2 which does provide more range than the Dual Motor variant at a significantly lower price point while retaining the 1,500 kg towing capacity.

The Electrifying review of the Long Range Single Motor Polestar 2

However, as I’ve discussed above, as an electric tow car, I would have concerns over the FWD power train. In the review above it is noted the front wheels ‘scrable slightly’ when pulling away from wet junctions. Well, when taking full advantage of the cars 1,500kg towing capacity that could be more of an issue.

My Thoughts On The Polestar 2 …

There are many things I like about Polestar 2. I like the ‘design aesthetic’ both inside and out. I also think it could be more practical in normal day to day life than say a Tesla Model 3 with its small rear boot opening. Hence, I can definitely see the appeal of this car if you want to own an EV and something other than a Tesla etc.

However, I’m not an automotive journalist, and this site is not focused on reviewing electric cars as an all-round package, I focus on towing capabilities. In terms of an electric tow car, the Polestar 2 is a harder sell.

As it stands the real-world range figures for the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor are below original expectations, whereas due to software updates to the Tesla Model 3 range has actually increased from earlier results. Therefore, that also translates into widening figures when it comes to real-world towing range results.

As stated above, while the single motor variants are cheaper and the Long Range Single Motor provides more range, I would be concerned about traction when towing with a FWD Polestar 2.

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