The Polestar 2 might be the perfect example of what happens when development teams suffer an “agile failure,” a term used among development teams when cooperation is absent. Sino-Swedish automotive brand, Polestar, has been forced to recall its Polestar 2 twice this year, and all within a month of one another. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the latest recall affects nearly 4,590 vehicles worldwide. Polestar said in a statement to Car and Driver, “A fault in the logic of the Battery Energy Control Module requires a manual software update to be rectified.”
Software glitch causes the Polestar 2 to lose power while driving
In an article posted by Car and Driver, the massive recall was spurred by a few customers reporting they experience power loss while driving their Polestar 2. Beyond the initial information of the recall, Polestar has commented on the situation.
The statement by Polestar stated the following: “We issued a voluntary safety recall for Polestar 2 after we investigated, verified, and developed a solution for an issue reported by a few customers … A total of 2189 potentially affected registered customer vehicles in Europe and China are being recalled.”
The automaker informed every owner of a Polestar 2 to take their cars to the nearest service center for a software update. Fortunately for potential buyers in the United States, no Polestar 2s have been delivered yet. Thus, this issue should not affect the U.S. market, as it should have already been worked out. It’s worth noting the Polestar 2 isn’t the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) to experience a similar type of problem. In 2016, both the Volkswagen e-Golf and Fiat 500e had software glitches that caused those cars to randomly shut off.
There are two issues involving this latest recall
The two primary issues involved with this latest recall are the battery pack’s coolant heater and the power inverter. The first issue relates to the High Voltage Coolant Heater (HVCH) and requires a trip to the service department. The HVCH is what helps extend the range of HEVs and BEVs by optimizing battery performance. It does this by sustaining the battery’s optimal operating temperature and ensuring even temperature dispensation within the battery pack and its cells. Without this, the battery will suffer decreased life expectancy. The total number of Polestar cars affected by this particular issue is 3,150.
The power inverter is a power electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which is the type of power used by electric vehicle motors. If the power inverter is faulty in some way, it will cause the vehicle to stall due to the loss of AC power. The total estimated number of vehicles affected by this issue is 4,586.
An overview of the Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 was initially met with big fanfare, with many reviewers touting it as the first legitimate alternative to the Tesla Model 3. With a base price of around $60,000 before any available EV rebates, it has a range of approximately 290 miles. For typical use, however, Polestar says owners can expect a range in the mid-200s. This is slightly less than the Tesla Model 3. It produces 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque while accelerating from 0 to 60 in under 4.5 seconds. The Polestar 2’s 78 kWh battery has an at-home recharge time of 8 hours using an 11kW home box. It takes around 40 minutes to an hour to recharge the battery at a public 150kW DC fast charger.
Unlike Tesla, Polestar has the support of Volvo, which means it has access to technology like its driver-assistance tech. Because of Polestar’s big corporate connection, there is a lot of backstory to Polestar 2’s existence. But the primary thing to come out of the relationship is an EV with a blend of radical futurism and established conventions. Considering how people drive currently, the recipe works. It’s also important to point out that these recalls don’t make the Polestar a bad car—it’s not uncommon for a new car (especially from a new company) to have issues. It’s all a part of the “beta” phase. But if you’re not interested in future possible recalls, it may be best to wait for the brand to mature a bit.