Mercedes came to the attention of electric car fans a few weeks ago because it is charging a subscription fee for access to higher performance electric motors in its cars. Customers will have to fork out more than €1,000 a year for a temporary, software-limited performance boost. However, Mercedes is not the only company offering to unlock hardware features already installed in cars, but the competition seems to be less “greedy”. Polestar, for example, offers the upgrade for a fixed fee.
Polestar 2 upgrade requires one-time payment for 68 extra horsepower
Volvo subsidiary Polestar has announced that it is now offering a software performance upgrade for the Polestar 2. It was developed after the car’s launch and allows “unlocking” 68 extra horsepower for its electric motors. While the software upgrade isn’t free, it’s not exactly “expensive” either, at $1,195. By comparison, Mercedes charges that amount every year you want to have the extra performance enabled.
To install this performance upgrade, all you have to do is download the software directly from the dashboard, no service visit required. Also, only the Polestar 2 version with two electric motors gets this upgrade, not the Polestar 2 version with one motor.
The 68 horsepower will provide a minor performance boost, but one that counts especially in overtaking. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is reduced to 4.2 seconds, while high torque will matter especially between 70 and 80 mph. From 80 to 120 km/h, acceleration will take just 2.2 seconds.
Such upgrades, however, have been offered by competitors in the market, such as Tesla, free of charge to all users. From time to time, Elon Musk’s company’s cars get an upgrade that improves fuel economy, or provides faster and more efficient acceleration or braking.
Polestar officials say they considered charging a subscription-based fee for such software updates, but decided it was too complicated for users.