Polestar 2 Gets Range Cut As New Competitors Appear

Kevin Rooke
October 9, 2020

In February 2019, the Polestar 2 was unveiled. It was a sporty electric 'fastback' SUV that was meant to take on cars like the Audi E-Tron, Tesla Model X, and the upcoming Model Y.

Back then, the plan was for the vehicle to have 500km of range (310 miles), and a starting price of $63,000 in the US.

Polestar 2

Those were ambitious targets, and would have made the Polestar very attractive in early 2019.

But since then, much has changed. Tesla has started producing their Model Y, Ford unveiled their Mustang Mach-E, and the EPA just released a disappointing Polestar 2 range rating of 233 miles.

These factors are all working against Polestar to steal the market share that they might have received otherwise.

Tesla Model Y Launch

Perhaps the most important impact on the Polestar 2's success is the faster-than-expected launch of Tesla's Model Y. Tesla was building over 1,000 units per week in Q2, and followed that up with their biggest overall Q3 in company history.

If there was any chance that Polestar could beat Tesla to market and steal some of their potential Model Y customers, that ship has sailed by now. The Long Range Model Y has 316 miles of range and starts at only $49,990.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Reveal

In late 2019, Ford revealed their 2021 Mustang Mach-E. It's a sporty SUV just like the Polestar, but beats the expected price, range, and acceleration of the Polestar 2. While it won't go into production for another year, the Mustang Mach-E added to the quickly expanding list of electric SUVs in America.

Electric SUVs For Sale in America

Electric SUVs Coming Soon to America

Polestar 2 Range Cuts

The final key factor that will really hurt Polestar 2 adoption is the range estimate the EPA released this week. The Polestar 2's EPA range estimate is now just 233 miles, almost 80 miles lower than their prediction from 2019.

An 80 mile decrease in range is a big deal, but it's an even bigger deal when competitors are raising the bar of acceptable EV range as Polestar is lowering theirs. In 2019, 233 miles of range for an electric SUV was acceptable.

Most people couldn't afford the Model X, and the next-best SUV options (Kona, E-Tron, and Niro) all did 204-258 miles of range.

But now that the Model Y is out with 316 miles of range, and Ford is eyeing 300 miles for their own SUV, the Polestar 2 will really struggle to compete on vehicle specs.

Polestar 2 Range Comparison

Below is an illustration of the cost per mile of range (Base Price/Vehicle Range) of all EVs for sale or coming soon in America.

Since range is still a high priority metric for EV buyers, cars on the left will be easier sells for the average EV buyer. Cars on the right may still appeal to status buyers, or to certain niche audiences for reasons beyond vehicle range, but these vehicles will be harder to sell at scale.

To compare all EVs on all metrics, check out our EV comparison tool here.