Member News | EV Diaries

Trial start date: 20 December 2022

Jim is a pilot from Quinns Rocks. Before the EV for a Week Trial, he’d taken a spin in an electric car but hadn’t considered buying one because of the price.

Through the trial, Jim hoped to get a feel for what it’s like to drive and own an electric car, both in the city and out on WA’s country roads.

Age group 45 - 64
Location Quinns Rocks
Occupation Pilot
Current car BMW M140i
Trial car Polestar 2
Total kilometres travelled 530km

Before the trial: EV believer      After the trial: EV believer

Day 3

Man standing in front of yellow Polestar 2 electric car parked in garage

Today was a good day.

The car had gotten down to 50% last night because I was slack plugging in the charger. When I went out to the car this morning it was back up at 90%. Fears averted!

Today was a day off for me so I went to give a driving lesson to my nephew. The difference between the old Toyota he’s learning in and the EV is ridiculous. I’m glad he’s not learning in the Polestar!

I dropped into Karrinyup Shopping Centre for some present shopping, and I thought I’d try the recharging station just for fun. Both stations were in use—not surprising 3 days before Christmas.

Benefits or surprises

The car continues to impress with how well it performs in traffic. I really think that the city environment is the car’s forte.

Peak hour traffic is a breeze.

I think the quiet operation and lack of drama with stop start driving is just so restful! A big tick.

Challenges or frustrations

The only real frustration I’ve felt has been when I went to try a recharge at Karrinyup shops! No stations available. It’s to be expected at this time of year but does reinforce the need to have a plan B and C when looking for a recharge. The trickle charge at home is reassuringly effective though.

I’m still trying to come up with a foolproof plan for the trip away my wife and I are planning. We want to escape the maddening crowds by heading to York for a couple of days.

I think we can make it happen by stopping off at a winery on the way there and a Maccas on the way home (to charge).

It’s a different way of thinking about a trip. Rather than just getting there (my normal mission-oriented method), we’ll make it a bit of an adventure (one way or another!).

I did experience a hassle at the shopping centre underground car park. There was no phone reception, so I couldn’t lock the car (you unlock and lock the car with an app). I had to go back into the car, reconnect the car and phone via Bluetooth, then get back out to lock it properly.

Kilometres travelled: 100km

Charged: Yes. At home, no problems at all. Trickle charging overnight got me about an extra 40% and back to full.

Day 4

Close up of open charging port for Polestar 2 electric car parked in garage

Another quiet day.

Down to Sorrento, my sister-in-law was impressed with how quiet the car is.

Back to Joondalup shops for some Christmas shopping. No luck with a charging station again. No dramas though, plenty of range to get home.

It really is a relaxing about-town car, great for traffic, parking and the madness that is this time of year. It really is a place of sanctuary.

Benefits or surprises

The seamless power that the EV provides makes for really excellent entry into traffic.

No problems getting up to speed to enter the flow of traffic. It really is excellent for that.

Challenges or frustrations

Using the phone to lock and unlock the car gets pretty old when you’re moving between several stops.

The phone tries to lock the car with Bluetooth then the mobile network. It takes about 30 seconds hanging around the car waiting for the system to work, a process that repeats when you come back to the car. It might be different if you just connected to the car with Bluetooth but then you can’t use Apple CarPlay.

I had to try several times at one shopping centre where there was no phone signal in the underground car park. A bit frustrating.

Kilometres travelled: 50km

Charged: Yes. At home. No hassles at all.

Day 8

Polestar 2 electric car parked at McDonalds

Drove out to York today with my wife. Learnt heaps more about the car and the viability of an EV in WA.

Benefits or surprises

The best thing about the car is how quiet it is. Quite relaxing without the drone of an engine.

Challenges or frustrations

The car seems definitely designed for use as a city car.

The power cables are kept in a compartment in the floor of the boot. That means that if you need to recharge during a journey, you need to unpack the boot to get to the cables to recharge (ask me how I know).

Driving the Polestar 2 on the open road is a bit of a disappointing experience. The road to York is full of delightful sweeping bends—the sort of road that I love to drive in my car, or even any normal car.

The feedback and delight that comes from easing a car along the best line through a set of sweeping bends truly pleasurable—but not in the Polestar. This is a time when the weight of the car and the limits of its suspension become evident. The car is quite clumsy in these circumstances, it was quite a chore to drive along a country road.

Kilometres travelled: 220km

Charged: Yes. Charged at the McDonald’s in Mundaring. Very straightforward, it gave us a chance to go for a wander through the town and break up the journey.

Day 10

Polestar 2 electric car parked in front of Motor Vehicle Museum in York Western Australia

Drove from York back home with a stop in Mundaring for an electricity top up and breakfast.

I’m afraid the whole EV thing will take a bunch more infrastructure work before I can consider it viable for longer journeys.

We stayed in York which doesn’t have charging facilities and so had to rely on charging enroute there and back.

We timed our stop to include a meal break to give the car a decent chance to recharge but in the 45 minutes we stopped for breakfast, we only gained an additional 60km.

For any kind of decent road trip, you become dependent on staying where you can charge. In WA, that’s a challenge at the moment.

Benefits or surprises

The car remains one of the quietest I’ve driven.

Challenges or frustrations

Apart from the charging challenges discussed above, the car hasn’t improved in the way it goes down a country road. Clumsy and limited is how I’d still describe it.

Kilometres travelled: 160km

Charged: Yes. At the Maccas in Mundaring—free but patience is needed.

EV experience in a nutshell

It was great learning about the new technology of EVs.

Great around the city. Quiet, easy to drive, really good in peak hour traffic. Feel that the infrastructure isn’t there yet for longer distance driving.

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