Polestar EVs Have A Center Raised-Floor Tunnel + Other Fun Facts

MAR 14 2019 BY BRADLEY BERMAN 29

Polestar is bucking trends. Its first EV will be a sedan with a raised central tunnel on the floor.

The Polestar 2 luxury EV was one of the hits at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. In a wave of upcoming European electric crossovers, the Polestar 2 is a rare battery-powered sedan.

Our first glance in person at the Polestar 2 revealed a crisp design with strong Volvo design influences. The visual appearance is a winner, arguably the most striking EV car design to come along since the Tesla Model 3. From inside, we could also see luxury-quality fit and finish. That was evident despite the two examples in Geneva serving literally as the company’s verification cars that will be used for extensive testing and tuning before production occurs in February 2020.

It’s a really good concept to go without a flat floor.

Perhaps the most striking surprise was the Polestar 2’s use of a raised central “transmission tunnel.” That’s a departure from the trend in which EVs have a flat floor. Polestar confirmed with me that the 2’s 78-kWh battery pack has a flat design so the use of tunnel was not to make room for cells.

“We think this it’s a really good concept to go without a flat floor,” said Hans Pehrson, head of electric propulsion strategy at Polestar. He told me that a full technical explanation for the use of the raised tunnel would be revealed at a later date.

“It’s a balance where you put things. We use the tunnel for a good packaging purpose. It’s not air in there,” he said. “We don’t think it’s a compromise.” Pehrson suggested that the space might contain the battery’s cooling and control systems.

A Snug Interior

Christian Samson, a product manager at Polestar, said the Polestar 2 is closest in size to the Tesla Model 3 – and is a “half-segment” down from the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron. You definitely feel that inside. The center console between front-row seats is quite high, nestling the driver into a tight cockpit. The backseat passenger space is similar to what you find in compact EVs.

The raised tunnel contributes to that somewhat confined feeling. One gentleman sitting in the car next to me said, “Electric cars are well known for having more space inside, but I don’t feel it here. It’s more like a normal compact car.”

A compact-like, luxury electric sedan might be a challenge to sell at about $68,000, which is the price of the first 78-kWh, upper-trim version of the Polestar 2. But within a year, Polestar aims to offer a version at about $45,000.

Will the lower priced version have a smaller battery pack? “It could have,” said Pehrson. “Of course, when we sell the car for 39,900 euros (about $45,000), something will change in the specifications.”

Pehrson and Samson were reluctant to answer many detailed questions about the Polestar 2, still nearly a year away from production. They declined responses to questions about the battery cooling system, quick-charging rates, or where the Polestar 2 will be built. (The Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid supercar is being manufactured in Chengdu, China.)

Here are a few things that I was able to confirm:

  • Unlike what I heard in Geneva from Audi and Kia, Polestar does not feel constrained by battery supply. “We have a secured supply for our planned volume,” said Pehrson. He said annual production goals for the Polestar 2 are for “tens of thousands” of units.
  • Brake regen levels are set in the center screen as Off, Medium, and High. The High setting is aggressive. “We have one-pedal driving for sure,” said Pehrson.
  • The target efficiency of Polestar EVs is about four miles per kWh, but that’s a target at this stage. Referring to the 310-mile WLTP target for a 78-kWh car, Samson said, “It’s a stretch and a good challenge.”
  • Polestar will not build any more plug-in hybrids after the Polestar 1.
  • The first Polestar gallery-like store will be opened in downtown Oslo, Norway.

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29 Comments on "Polestar EVs Have A Center Raised-Floor Tunnel + Other Fun Facts"

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The bullet list at the end has an error. I think “four miles per kilometer” should be “four miles per kwh” ?

4 miles per kilometer… 310 mile wltp = ~500km range. And at 4 miles per kilometer, that’s a 2000 mile range! Suck on that, ICE cars! Who’s the range king now!

“Polestar is bucking trends. Its first EV will be a sedan with a raised central tunnel on the floor.” That’s not a trend worth bucking!

Depends, they move some battery cells to give more foot room for rear outboard passengers. To me, this is more valuable as people regularly use outboard seats and very rarely the center seat.

You are also raising the center of gravity 100% of the time.

Not necessarily true since you can lower the whole car by bringing the batteries inside.

I agree. The whole could be lower. This is good for interior height and aerodinamics. Every solution has its pros and cons.

RE “Electric cars are well known for having more space inside, but I don’t feel it here. It’s more like a normal compact car.”

Well the Polestar is 5 inches narrower than a Model 3, so even without the tunnel it might not feel that spacious. It is a nice looking car though.

more like 2.5 inches narrower.

“No no, it’s not that we couldn’t figure out how to make a flat pack…it’s a, it’s a..feature, ya that’s the ticket!”

Making a flat pack is easy, but this solution gives more room to sit properly in the back, something for example the Model 3 is lacking.

The entire article is about how there isn’t more room for anything in the car and explicitly states that the center tunnel doesn’t contain the battery pack.

“Polestar confirmed with me that the 2’s 78-kWh battery pack has a flat design so the use of tunnel was not to make room for cells.”

Chi-coms – gotta love the Collectivism!

Probably it is due to use of an existing ICE platform.

Almost all carmakers are using existing platforms for their EVs (Tesla is the exception). They say it is all new EV platform, but it is 90% based on an existing platform, because it saves them billions of dollars and the end result is not that different.

This was designed as an EV. The tradeoff was to improve rear seat foot room. Tesla style leads to elevated floor, which is annoying too.

See how the guys thighs don’t rest on the seat?
https://d2t6ms4cjod3h9.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Tesla-Model-3-rearseat-passenger-space.jpg

I don’t think polestar have the means to design a new EV platform in such a short time. This is a Volvo XC40 platform modified for EV duty.

It’s CEVTs CMA, same platform as XC40.

You could easily raise the seat level. The issue is head room with the roof line, not the floor. In any case, the article clearly states that the battery pack isn’t in the tunnel anyway.

“Polestar confirmed with me that the 2’s 78-kWh battery pack has a flat design so the use of tunnel was not to make room for cells.”

You should not believe everything that you read. The battery packs are in the tunnel. Article is dead wrong here. Batteries are double stacked. Just visit polestar.com.

I don’t have any way to tell if this is right or wrong, but the info in this article is coming straight from a personal interview. For now, I think that this information should at least be taken as a strong possibility.

You mean the 258 mile EPA target? 310 mile WLTP isn’t the same as 310 mile EPA!

310 wltp = 276 epa

4 miles per kilometer. Hmm, I wonder how many parsecs it can do the Kessel Run in.

I wonder if the hump might also be part of a common chassis design for PHEV versions?

Unless the platform is used within Volve outside of the Polestar brand then the bullet point list would indicate no: “Polestar will not build any more plug-in hybrids after the Polestar 1.”

The most ridiculous “EV” attempt thus far …

Are you kidding? You forgot the /s for sarcasm.

InsideEV had these pictures from the presentation, about the battery pack. Obviously cells in the tunnel, and none in the floor (foot-wells).

https://insideevs.com/close-look-polestar-2-battery-details/

Correct! As well, folks in the back seats appear to have a slightly elevated seating position over the front seats which is a boon! Who likes to have their knees up against their chest and no forward view? Great car for traveling even in the back!