Living with the Polestar 2: London life
We spend time in the city to test out the all-electric Swedish saloon, the Polestar 2
If there’s one thing that defines living in London with a car, it’s parking. Perhaps the most stress inducing part of living in a capital city, from the unescapable pressure piled on by other drivers as you temporarily block the road, to parking tickets, having a car that’s easy to squeeze into impossibly small gaps is essential.
When it comes to parking up the Polestar 2, the chunky styling and narrow window line do limit visibility but handily, the trick portfolio of cameras and sensors make parking a breeze. Its flat nose gives you confidence when butting up close against a car in front, with cameras in the nose, rear and side there to back you up. As cars have increased in size over the years, particularly with the rise of SUVs, the Polestar 2 is a welcome departure from the glut of bloated and bulky family cars on offer.
Touted as the UK’s hotspot for electric car chargers, London prides itself as a city ready to welcome electric cars with open arms. In reality, there’s still some way to go as the rising numbers of EVs in London outstrips the 4,000 chargers on offer, especially the provision of rapid chargers, essential for a quick battery top up when out and about.
Lucky enough to have access to a 7kW charger at home, the frustration with public charge points is thankfully kept to a minimum. Coming across a broken or occupied public charger, especially when you’re in a rush or with children, can be a hugely time-consuming and inconvenient experience. Luckily, the Polestar’s Google-powered navigation takes some of the strain out of it by automatically finding the nearest charge points, giving you a choice between rapid, fast and slower chargers. Attached to one of London’s rapid chargers, the Polestar will charge between 20 and 80 percent in roughly half an hour.
When it comes to stop-start urban driving, all cars struggle to reach their stated range and the Polestar is no exception. The nature of short distance city driving, particularly in cold weather, given how susceptible battery-powered cars are to temperature variations, means you’ll lose a few miles here and there but largely the Polestar 2 holds an impressive range.
After a full charge, we got close to 290 miles – below the bottom end of the cited 320 mile WLTP range, which is more than enough to fuel multiple trips across town and daily nursery runs. Given London’s penchant for penalties, particularly within the Congestion Charge zone, the Polestar – like all full-electric vehicles – is exempt from the charge, making trips to London’s cultural hotspots and museums with a car full of children, both hassle and cost free.
Settling into London life with an electric car takes some adjustment but the Polestar 2’s ease of use, solid build and stylish looks make the switching process feel seamless and smooth, save for the occasional pinch points around charging when out and about in the city. Big enough to carry two adults, two children under three and the huge amounts of kit that come with that, the Polestar 2 is a great all-round family car and a nipper alternative to the very many SUVs on offer.