Updates to the entry level Polestar 2 are set to incrementally increase the crossover’s range and reduce the electric crossover’s environmental impact yet further.
Last year, Polestar announced a new partnership with blockchain provider Circulor as part of its drive to become one of the first marques to become climate-neutral – i.e. zero emissions across both its production line and supply chains – by 2030. New updates to the Polestar 2 Standard range Single motor are said to showcase “new solutions connected to climate impact and transparency” that are likely to be rolled out across Polestar’s product range sooner rather than later.
Among the most interesting is the use of low-carbon aluminum, produced using renewable energy, in the wheels and the undertray that supports the lithium ion battery. Polestar states that the new wheels on the pilot model alone have reduced C02 emissions during the build by 600 kg, with that total said to increase to “around 1,350 kg per car” when the undertray is incorporated as well towards the end of the year.
An trifling figure on its own, perhaps. But bear in mind that Polestar’s global sales for 2021 were “more than 29,000”, a figure 185 per cent higher than its 10,175 sales from 2020. Even if sales for 2022 stay that same, that 1,350kg estimate suddenly becomes a 43,000 US ton CO2e saving across a production year.
“We have revisited materials and processes that go into making Polestar 2, introducing updates that reduce the climate impact and increase material traceability of this award-winning car,” CEO Thomas Ingenlath explains. “These are important additions to how we can improve cars over their lifetime – not just with functionality and design updates but addressing sustainability and carbon footprint as well.”
Another update is Polestar’s use of renewable, recyclable and recycled materials in the vehicle’s now vegan upholstery,
“We require that all leather used in Polestar products must live up to the strictest standards on animal welfare and the Five Freedoms*, alongside being fully traceable and chrome-free,” explains Polestar Head of Sustainability Fredrika Klarén. “In our programme updates we want to take action on improvements that can make a positive sustainability impact quickly, rather than traditional mid-cycle facelifts. Product optimisation programmes are common in the car industry, but we are taking an extended approach at Polestar, combining these with CO2e reduction programmes as well.”
Tech updates have also seen an incremental increase to the entry level crossover’s estimated range. At launch, the Polestar 2 Standard range Single motor boasted a 69 kWh battery pack which, in combination with its front-wheel driving electric motor, produced 170 kW /231 hp. Improved cell chemistry in Polestar’s batteries, an offshoot of the Swedish marque’s new partnership with Circulor, means the 69 kWh capacity, though no larger, is denser than before, increasing the range from to 470 km to 474 km.
While this is largely inconsequential in North America, these updates across the board have made a larger impact in the UK, where the Standard range Single motor previously featured a 64 kWh battery pack and a 165 kW electric motor, which combined for an estimated 273 miles (around 439 km) of range. Polestar confirms that fast-charging is now available at up to 130 DC, though how this affects charging times has yet to be confirmed. The vehicle’s onboard heat pump, used to warm the battery prior to charging and start-up using recycled ‘waste heat’ from the electrical componentry, is now capable of working in a wider range of temperatures, from -7 to +25 degrees.
Final updates to the Polestar 2 are purely cosmetic, and include the introduction of two new exterior paints – ‘Space’ and ‘Jupiter’ – new designs for both the 19in and 20in wheels, and an optional removable sunshade for the panoramic sunroof.