The following is a discussion with Aussie electric vehicle (EV) owner Ben, who has a Polestar 2 2022 Long Range Single Motor with Full Pilot & Plus packs.
EDITOR: I’m going to publish a regular series of articles with the views of Australian EV owners about their purchase, driving, servicing, charging etc experience.
This will help fill an information gap as the majority of electric car news articles are about new car launches and there’s relatively little published about the longer term Australian ownership experience after you’ve paid for your electric car. Hopefully this shared information helps other Aussies make their own EV purchase decision.
Was your electric car bought or leased?
Please describe your purchasing / lease process experience … Easy, Mediocre, Frustrating..?
Easy, but frustrating at times. Polestar were still in the process of setting up their delivery processes which made everything take longer than it should have given my car was already in Australia when I paid the deposit.
They seem to have ironed out the kinks since then though!
What has the regular servicing / dealership experience been like?
I’ve had experiences with both AutoNexus and Volvo. AutoNexus was mediocre – they were merely just a middle-man to Polestar.
My experience in dealing direct with Volvo has been seamless and much more positive, especially being able to talk directly to a technician.
How do you regularly charge your car for day to day usage?
Plug in to specially installed faster EV charger at home (smart unit that only uses solar).
What has your day to day normal charging experience been like?
Amazing! I love being able to charge at home direct from our solar and I haven’t looked at petrol prices in nearly a year!
How do you charge your car for longer road trips on the weekend or during holidays? Do you prefer any particular brand of public fast charger during road trips eg Evie, Tesla, Chargefox and why?
No preference but have found Evie chargers to be very reliable.
It’s super easy to use apps like ABRP and PlugShare to work out a charging strategy for longer trips.
What’s the farthest road trip you’ve done in your EV and what did you learn from this experience that would be useful for others to know?
We’ve been from Brisbane to Hervey Bay for a holiday.
We made sure the car was charged to 100% the night before, stopped for a top up at Evie Cochin Creek and then on to our destination.
Our hotel complex had 10A power points in the car park and they were happy for us to plug in whilst there.
Does your EV have any special features like V2L reverse charging from the car to your portable/home appliances? If yes please share your experience using this special feature
If you have roadside assist included with the car purchase/lease and have had to use it, which company provided the service and what was that experience like?
Unfortunately have had to use it once when we received some odd warning messages.
RACQ organised a tow to our local Volvo dealer who then dropped a loan car back to our place to use until they figured out the issue.
If you have had issues with your car and asked for these to be fixed under warranty, did the car brand do the right thing and fix it without causing you stress?
Never had any issues getting things looked at and fixed under warranty.
The Customer Support team are outstanding. Most of our issues have been software-related.
The one issue we had with a broken AC vent was fixed very promptly once parts received.
What are the 3 strongest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?
- External design aesthetic – it stands out on the road but not so much that it looks like something out of the next century
- Hatch back – we have 2 dogs and needed something with a hatch……at the time, the MG ZS was in between model years, and the Model Y and Atto 3 weren’t announced/released for Australia. That being said, we still would’ve gone with the Polestar 2 even if they were for sale at the time.
- Android Automotive OS – I was sceptical at first, being an Apple person, but the software has been great. It is responsive and plays nicely with my iPhone via CarPlay.
What are the 3 weakest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?
- Lack of inclusion of basic safety features – this has been fixed in the MY24 version, but having to pay $5k to get fairly standard safety features is a bit rich!
- Efficiency – the car is bloody heavy! So it naturally uses more energy. That being said, I’m getting 16kWh per 100km after 27,000kms which is better than the WLTP! But compared to the likes of Tesla and Hyundai, it leaves a bit to be desired.
- Drive train – the car is Front Wheel Drive (FWD), which is another thing they have changed for MY24 (going RWD)….so it is a bit skittish when taking off from a standing start on wet roads. Having said that, once you are at your desired speed and driving to the conditions, the car sticks to the road like glue.
Would you buy or lease this brand of electric car again and recommend it to others?
Do you have any other comments about your electric car brand, experience etc?
Overall, it’s been a very positive transition to an electric vehicle and I encourage everyone to find the vehicle that is right for them.
That might be a Polestar or it might be a Tesla – to be honest, most (if not all) the EVs hitting our shores are great cars in their own right.
Sure, there are differences between them but most of them are subjective and come down to each persons likes/dislikes/needs/want.
For those making the switch, engage in meaningful discussions to understand more about EVs but ultimately decide which car is best for you and your lifestyle.
Don’t feel pressured into a particular make/model.
If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.