Reviewed: Hertz Australia Polestar 2 electric car rental experience

I recently drove a Hertz Australia Polestar 2 electric car around Melbourne and towards the Yarra Valley. The following are some of my notes about the experience.

Note that when you make the booking the Hertz car type is “Green Collection” Polestar 2/Tesla Model 3 so you’re not guaranteed to get a Polestar 2 but you can indicate a preference that will be fulfilled if the car you want is available at your Hertz pickup location when you go there.

If your Hertz Polestar 2 hire is the first time you’ve driven an electric car make sure you follow the explanatory links they send you the day or two before your hire and read the online manual so you know what to expect.

Thankfully I had already done a test drive of the Polestar 2 in Sydney recently so the electric car driving experience wasn’t a surprise and I already knew which settings I wanted to change eg turn off Creep mode and change One Pedal Drive to Standard before I drove.

One pedal drive regenerative braking mode was off by default. I recommend turning it on as it’s easier to drive in one pedal mode and it helps battery life. Test this feature first while in a quiet street so you get used to how the accelerator pedal becomes a brake as you smoothly reduce foot pressure on it.

Driving

Driving the Polestar 2 was a pleasure compared to the basic petrol powered Kia Cerato I usually drive, hired from the Goget car share club.

The car has plenty of power and instant acceleration which is handy when passing slow moving trucks and because Victorian drivers don’t seem to ever want to let people in easily when changing lanes or merging onto a motorway.

Whether I was on Melbourne suburban roads, on a motorway or in the country the Polestar 2 felt powerful and safe to use because of the Volvo heritage and safety features like the 360 degree camera when parking in tight spots, adaptive cruise control, BLIS blind spot warning on the side mirrors and Auto LED headlights.

If you want to you can create a Driver profile on the built-in Android Auto operating system and change whatever settings you like as well as logging in with your Google account so you can install apps.

Just remember to delete this profile before you give the car back to Hertz so no one else has access to your Google account!

Charging

Get an EVIE charge fob (it can also unofficially be used on Chargefox chargers). You’ll need it to start the charging process at locations where you don’t have mobile reception eg car parks and rural locations where tap n pay with your phone may not work.

Charging time at 350kW Evie station was as below. This shows once you get to 90% it’s not worth charging the last 10% unless you’re away from the car eg at lunch. Otherwise it adds almost half an hour extra wait time sitting around at the charging station.

  • 54% to 90% 24min total
  • 54% to 95% 40min total
  • 54% to 100% 52min total

If you’re a state based motoring association member NRMA/RACV make sure you register that in the Chargefox app as you can get better pricing for recharges because the motoring associations own Chargefox.

To display Trip Computer stats since last reset and for today Push the centre button on the right hand side of the steering wheel.

I wish Hertz Australia changed their policy so electric car hirers could return the car with 80% full rather than requiring a minimum of 90%. The last 20% of an electric car charge takes the most time and means that Hertz hirer will hog charging points near the Hertz car return location until they hit 95% so they can return the car with more than 90% + battery.

Range

One kind of random thing about hiring a Hertz Polestar is that they have several variations in their fleet so you won’t know which you get til you pick the car up.

Mine was a Single motor 170 kW (231 hp) with a 69 kWh Lithium-ion battery that is capable of 478km WLTP range (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure).

The real world range in my experience was about 380km with a mixture of city, motorway and country driving. This will vary a fair bit depending on if your route is flat/hilly, use of air conditioning, weight of your stuff in the car and whether you drive economically or accelerate hard all the time.

Is it worth hiring a Hertz Polestar 2?

Disclosure: The rental was organised by Hertz PR. Evie charging stations were free for all Hertz customers during my rental period and I paid for the times I used Chargefox recharge stations.

Of course the Polestar 2 isn’t the cheapest in the Hertz fleet but it is also not the most expensive either.

If you can afford it and it suits your needs eg: a couple or single person wanting to go on a driving holiday then it is great fun to drive and much cheaper to recharge than refuelling a comparable petrol car.

Just be aware that this is a fast hatchback not a big family car. I fitted in two medium sized luggage and a suit bag in the boot and our carry on small luggage had to be in the back seat.

Also before you book and pay for any electric hire car check your recharge options along your driving route.

All the state and territory governments are spending on subsidising more charging stations but until that’s done there are still areas like the Great Ocean Road without enough fast charging options along the journey length.

For more Hertz Australia Polestar 2 electric car hiring tips have a look at this video below made by electric car enthusiast Jonathan McFeat.

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