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How much electric car driving range is enough? Polestar says cars with 600-plus kilometre range are arriving 'very quickly'

Polestar says its range of EVs capable of driving more than 600km between charges are arriving very soon.

How much range would an electric car need to have for you to consider one? If that answer is 600 kilometres or more, Polestar says it will have options for you very soon.

Range anxiety is one of the biggest factors which turn people off EVs, and although most buyers might overestimate how much range they actually need between charges (the data says the average Australian travels less than 40km a day), it does make sense in Australia where the distances between major cities can be measured in the thousands of kilometres.

There are few EVs on the market in Australia which are capable of travelling more than 600km on a full charge – near equivalent to many mainstream combustion vehicles. In fact, only the mid-spec BMW iX xDrive50 with its enormous 112kWh battery can travel 630km on a full charge, and Tesla’s incoming updated Model S Long Range and Plaid variants can travel 628km and 840km respectively.

Speaking to media in Sydney though, Polestar’s head of sales, Mike Whittington, explained the long-range EV sector is set to heat up in the near future.

“Cars with 600-plus kilometres of range? I think they are coming very soon, very soon,” he said while brushing off suggestions that the brand’s sustainability focus may slow its longer-range aspirations. 

“There’s no reason we can’t do both sustainability and long range.” 

As a reminder, Polestar now traces more than just the controversial metals like cobalt and lithium used in its battery chemistries, but also materials less focused on like mica.

Polestar’s investor briefing released last year ahead of this year’s initial public offering (IPO) confirms its next three models are all planned to have variants with driving range in excess of 600km. Next off the rank will be the Polestar 3 set to be revealed before year’s end for a 2023 arrival in Australia.

The Polestar 3 will be a large performance SUV sharing its underpinnings with the Volvo XC90, and it will rapidly be followed by the Polestar 4 small SUV and Polestar 5 GT in 2023 and 2024 respectively.

To enable such long ranges, the Polestar briefing includes mention of an 800-volt 103kWh battery pack, enabling 20-minute charging times which will also include bi-directional charging. The only cars currently on the market which currently offer similar battery technology are the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.

It also promises a new high-performance electric drivetrain, consisting of a new motor dubbed the ‘P10’ able to produce 450kW in single motor or 650kW in dual-motor forms, complete with a two-speed transmission, similar to the Porsche Taycan.

While the Polestar 2 is offered at a relatively mainstream price-point (from $63,900 before on-road costs) the Polestar 3 is pitched at Porsche Cayenne money (currently from $128,100), the Polestar 4 is expected to cost in a similar realm to the Porsche Macan (currently from $84,800), and the Polestar 5 is expected to be in the region of the Porsche Panamera (currently from $203,500).

The Polestar 3 looks to be the brand's first EV with 600 plus kilometres of range. The Polestar 3 looks to be the brand's first EV with 600 plus kilometres of range.

Surprisingly, the brand confirms the lion’s share of Polestar 2 demand is for the top-spec long-range dual motor (from $73,400), quite different from the Tesla Model 3 which is understood to make the most ground with its most entry-level Standard Range variant (from $63,900).

The brand is currently sold out of stock of the outgoing 2022 Polestar 2 citing ‘higher than expected demand’ and new customers will need to wait until November for delivery of the updated 2023 version. Stay tuned as we keep an eye out for the reveal of the Polestar 3.