Polestar 2 Vs Tesla Model 3: Devastating Efficiency Difference

The recently released EPA range of the entry-level Polestar 2 Single Motor version is an impressive 270 miles (434 km). It’s basically on par with the entry-level Tesla Model 3 RWD with the same wheel size – 267 miles (430 km).

EPA numbers for the Tesla Model 3 RWD are not yet released, but the manufacturer usually is correct with its estimation.

However, when we take a closer look at the battery capacity, we can see something strange. The Polestar 2 SM has a 78 kWh battery, while the Tesla Model 3 RWD has about 60 kWh (give or take a few kWh, as the manufacturer does not release a specific number).

That’s a 30% difference. How it could be that the cars have a similar range, while Polestar 2 has maybe 16-18 kWh more?

There must be some devastating efficiency differences between the two. And that is despite the fact that the Tesla has more power.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2021 Tesla Model 3 RWD 19″
[B]
DriveFWD RWD
Battery78 kWh30%60 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined270 mi
(434 km)
1.1%267 mi*
(430 km)
Specs
0-60 mph7 s20.7%5.8 s
Top speed100 mph
(161 km/h)
-28.6%140 mph
(225 km/h)
Peak power170 kW  
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined107 MPGe: 315 Wh/mi (196 Wh/km)  
City113 MPGe: 298 Wh/mi (185 Wh/km)  
Highway100 MPGe: 337 Wh/mi (209 Wh/km)  
Prices
MSRP$45,900-1.3%$46,490
Dest. Charge+$1,300 +$1,200
Tax Credit$7,500 N/A
Effective Price$39,700-16.8%$47,690

The price of the cars is very similar, however the Polestar 2 is eligible for a tax credit, while Tesla Model 3 is not.

It might make a difference for consumers, but on the manufacturer level, we see a big problem – a substantially bigger battery means that the costs are higher, and the margins are lower, especially if we consider that Tesla has switched to the less expensive LFP batteries, while the Polestar has NCM lithium-ion chemistry.

2022 Polestar 2 Dual Motor vs 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD

Let’s now take a look at the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive versions of both cars – once again, with 19″ wheels.

The battery pack sizes are now similar – Tesla might have a few kWh more battery capacity (it could be even 4 kWh, assuming 82 kWh total). But the range is then substantially different and Tesla Model 3 can go 334 miles (537 km). The Polestar 2 has a quarter lower range, at 249 miles (401 km).

It’s also a proof of a vast difference in efficiency of both cars that were supposed to be closer to each other.

Anyway, the Polestar 2 offers similar acceleration and its price is almost a fifth lower, which combined with the attractive design – that many customers prefer – might be an interesting option.

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2022 Polestar 2 Dual Motor 19″
[A]
Difference
[A] / [B]
2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD 19″
[B]
DriveAWD AWD
Battery78 kWh-2.5%80 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined249 mi
(401 km)
-25.4%334 mi*
(537 km)
Specs
0-60 mph4.5 s7.1%4.2 s
Top speed127 mph
(204 km/h)
-12.4%145 mph
(233 km/h)
Peak power300 kW  
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined89 MPGe: 379 Wh/mi (235 Wh/km)  
City94 MPGe: 359 Wh/mi (223 Wh/km)  
Highway84 MPGe: 401 Wh/mi (249 Wh/km)  
Prices
MSRP$49,900-4.9%$52,490
Dest. Charge+$1,300 +$1,200
Tax Credit$7,500 N/A
Effective Price$43,700-18.6%$53,690


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