Polestar is a new car brand and a subsidiary of the Volvo Car Group. The foundations of the Polestar brand are as a racing team. Therefore, while Volvo will/are producing electric cars under their own brand, it appears they will use the Polestar brand to offer electric cars which appeal to a younger audience than those who are typically attracted to buy a Volvo. The Polestar 2 has been given a tow rating, though the actual figure given has created a bit of confusion. As of this moment, the official tow rating of the Polestar 2 is 2,000 lbs.
Key Polestar 2 Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 2,000 lbs
- Availability – Now
- Price – Starting from $59,900
- EPA Range – 233 Miles (Polestar claims closer to 275 Miles)
- Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 117 Miles
- Maximum Charge Rate – 150 kW (DC Fast Charger)
Polestar 2 HP & Torque
- Long Range Dual Motor – 408 HP and 487 lb-ft of torque
Polestar 2 Towing Capabilities
So there appears to be quite a bit of confusion around the officially rated towing capabilities of the Polestar 2 reading the Polestar Forum. I’ll explain why I think that confusion is completely justified and try to provide an explanation of where the confusion has come from. As it stands though, it does appear the official towing rating for the US Polestar 2 is 2,000 lbs.
Press Release Confusion On Towing Capacity
So in December 2018, Polestar provided a global press release (here) which stated the Polestar 2 would have ‘class-leading towing capacity’ of 1,500 kg, which is just over 3,300 lbs. It would appear that some people found this press release and thought that US Polestar 2 cars would also come with that towing capacity (so did I).
Towards the end of that press release, it states ‘Except in North America’. However, from my reading of the press release that ‘Except in North America’ disclaimer only appears to be in reference to the pricing of the tow packages, and not the actual tow capacity of the vehicle.
Then in December 2019, Polestar provided another press release (here), this time on their US website, stating the towing capacity of the Polestar 2 would be just 2,000 lbs. Why the reduction in towing capacity? I’m not currently sure. Some have predicted its due to higher allowed speeds when towing on US roads and larger average distances covered etc. I’m also still not sure if that reduction in towing capacity also applies to European market cars, as that ‘US’ press release still references pricing for European tow packages!?
Personally, I have a feeling the chassis/drive system is capable of the originally specified 3,300 lb towing capacity. I think the reduction may have more to do with Polestar not wanting the car pulling a 3,300 lb trailer due to the reduction in range, which according to the EPA isn’t exactly ‘class-leading’ before you even factor in towing.
Real World Towing Range Concerns
As a very general rule, when estimating how far an electric car can travel when towing you take a real-world range estimate and chop it in half. Generally, that will mean for US tested cars taking the EPA rated range, and maybe 50% of that could be achieved when towing. Now, originally, Polestar was pretty confident they could get an EPA estimate for their Long Range Dual Motor variant of the Polestar 2 at 275 miles as you can see from the screenshot from their website below.
However, after the EPA conducted their testing, they disagreed, and have given the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor a rating of 233 miles. Though Polestar disputes this the EPA range as inaccurate (Techcrunch). However, this doesn’t look great for Polestar for a couple of reasons. First off, in 2020, branding a model ‘Long Range’. Compared to other electric cars on the market, not many people are going to call 233 miles a long-range EV. For instance, Polestar 2 is very often compared directly to the Tesla Model 3.
Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3/Y Comparisons
In many cases, Polestar has welcomed the comparisons to the Tesla Model 3 when journalists rate the handling and build quality of the Polestar 2 as superior. However, it doesnt look so favourable when you consider a Tesla Model 3 ‘Long Range’ AWD for less money has an EPA rating of 322 miles. That’s 100 miles more!
Therefore, on a 50% towing range prediction based on EPA estimates the Polestar 2 would have a towing range around 117 miles. Now, the Tesla Model 3 doesn’t officially have a US towing rating, though it does have a 2,000 tow rating in Europe. Though that hasn’t stopped some US owners modifying their Tesla Model 3 to tow. As you can see on my Tesla Model 3 page, a Long Range Model 3 could potentially achieve around 160 miles towing.
If you compare the Polestar 2 against the Tesla Model Y its looks even less favourable. For instance, a Tesla Model Y Long Range starts at $49,990, has an official tow rating of 3,500 lbs, EPA range of 315 miles and a 50% towing range guestimate of 156 miles. Granted the Polestar currently benefits from the $7,500 Federal Tax Incentive, unlike Tesla. Hence, the Polestar 2 currently won’t cost customers $59,000. However, even with that discount, its still notably more expect with reduced specs.
Polestar 2 Reviews and Impressions
As of yet, I’ve not come across anyone who has actually taken out the Polestar 2 for towing tests. Once they do, I’ll add those resources/results to this page. However, while you may be interested in an electric car for towing, its unlikely you would be towing all the time when using the car. Hence, what an electric tow car is like as just a car for everyday life is obviously important. Therefore, I’ve included the Kelley Blue Book Review of the Polestar 2 below.
The design of the exterior and interior of the Polestar 2 get a thumbs up, along with the use of high-quality materials it appears to have good fit and finish. I do personally quite like the angular appearance of the Polestar 2 as a contrast to the flowing curves found on many other cars. The Kelly Blue Book review above does conclude the Polestar is competitive. However, at the time of the making the review, that 233 mile EPA range estimate was unknown.
My Thoughts On The Polestar 2 …
There are many things I like about Polestar 2. I like the ‘design aesthetic’ both inside and out. I also think it could be more practical in normal day to day life than say a Tesla Model 3 with its small rear trunk opening. Hence, I can definitely see the appeal of this car if you want to own an EV and something other than a Tesla etc. However, I’m not an automotive journalist, and this site is not focused on reviewing electric cars as an all-round package, I focus on towing capabilities.
In terms of an electric tow car, the Polestar 2 is a hard sell. While it does have an official tow capacity which can tow small trailers/campers, you will only be able to do so over relatively short journeys. Furthermore, as the Polestar 2 has a lower maximum charge rate and no dedicated/widely available charging network like a Tesla Model Y, its just simply not as practical to be a frequently used electric tow car.