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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I will recount my journey to pick up my new Midnight Performance from Polestar Manhattan in this thread. I will make a series of posts here with aspects of the trip and my impressions/lessons/experiences in the hopes of informing, learning, and perhaps entertaining my fellow enthusiasts here. Feel free to respond and also teach me if I have more to learn (and I'm sure I do!). Note that this took place from December 9th to late December 11 with the actual handover on December 10th afternoon. I'll include photos in the last original post.

Note that my VIN is 11XXX for posterity. :cool:

I hope you enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Trip to NY
I flew to LaGuardia with my son to help me drive back. Due to my airline status I was able to upgrade us to first class which was new for him. We connected through Charlotte, spent 40 minutes of our layover in the Centurion Lounge - I didn’t know there was one in CLT, but happened to see it on the way to the Admiral’s Club and made a quick detour. Good call!
We got into LGA and took an Uber to the hotel not far from the pickup location, grabbed a couple of slices, and crashed in the hotel.

The next morning we packed up and excitedly headed down to Volvo of Manhattan where we would pick up the car. We arrived about 15 minutes early and immediately got a text from Jeff that he was running 30 minutes late, so we found a spot to sit that was socially distanced and waited. After a bit longer than 30 minutes, Jeff and James showed up and introduced themselves and then informed us that there had been a fault on the display and they wanted to clear it first and test drive it to be sure it was OK. Thus began a two hour additional wait.

We did get updates along the way, and mid-afternoon, James rolled up with the car at the curb. Fully detailed! It was love at first sight - the car just looks amazing. We got in and I noticed there was not a driveout tag. Sure enough, it was in the glove box so James went inside to get tape and we got it in the rear window. In the mean time I started with the checklist (see below). Note that when I opened the glove box, I showed my son the “curry hook” and James was amazed - he didn’t know that was even there. OK, on to the checklist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Checklist
  • Software version: November 1 - great!
  • Jack - yes
  • Center panel scratches - no...but they also recommended wrapping it as it scratches easily.
  • Tires - on correctly and inflated properly. Will check again this weekend to be sure they stayed that way.
  • Keyless entry and hatch open with foot wave all work properly
  • Rear windows - closed tight! Part of the Nov update as I understand. Note that the last 77 miles were run in heavy rain, no leaks.
  • Have not tried the charging cable as of yet, will check next week
  • Max charge rate was set to 24A. Ran it up all the way to 48 (top)
  • Printed info in the glove box was all in English
  • So the checklist was a success
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Drive home

Our first hard acceleration was on 11th Ave heading to the Lincoln Tunnel. Smacked our heads into the headrest and startled us both...and thrilled us! But I mostly skipped the zooming to save charge time and range.

We made our run out of the city and across New Jersey and then over the bridge into Pennsylvania. Our first attempt at charge was at an Electrify America charger bank in Allentown, PA. We hooked up on a 350kW port and initiated the charge - note that I paid for a monthly membership before we left home - I had all our stops planned out. This first stop was intentionally short in case of problems. And guess what: we had problems! The first one initialized and started the charge and then immediately stopped. The charger showed complete and the car showed an error condition. We tried a few more times and on other chargers and then called EA support. They were very friendly and tried to help multiple ways. They walked me through trying every charger and port, tried pushing a charge directly, and even restarted one of the chargers. Same results every time! So we found an Audi dealer nearby with a 50kW DC charger that they let us use for free. Needless to say I was a bit worried. I called Jeff at Polestar Manhattan and he advised that EA’s were hit or miss and the problems had started recently so may be tied to a recent EA software update. So with a bit of apprehension, we carried on to our next stop in Carlisle PA. Another EA 350kW charger, and this time no problems. Quickly charged up and got back on the road.

We then crossed Maryland, W. Virginia, and entered Virginia - transitioning 3 state boundaries in about 15 miles! The next charge stop was in Woodstock, VA at another EA where we used a complimentary charge pushed from EA for my trouble in Allentown. While discussing the issue and the fail codes they saw there, they had a suspicion that the problem was specific to the manufacturer of the chargers. EA uses 3 manufacturers and we encountered two of them: Signet who made the Allentown chargers and ABB who made the Carlisle and Woodstock chargers. It seems the ABB’s are fine, but the Signet ones may be suspect. The technicians were looking into it.

Our next two stops were at Fincastle then Wytheville (both still in VA), no trouble with 150kW+ chargers from EA. We then crossed into Tennessee near Bristol and stopped in a Walmart/Sam’s Club parking lot with EA chargers and...same issues with the one in Allentown. After calling EA support, they were sure now that it was some incompatibility with Signet and Polestar. He also advised me that every additional stop I had in my plan were all Signets. So much for my plan! Time to research on PlugShare. We found some alternatives...the remainder of the trip was mostly a combination of 50 and 62.5kW chargers in the EVGo and ChargePoint networks. This really slowed the trip down. The real problem was that the last stretch from Nashville to home had only ONE place to charge (of course the EA fast charger there was a Signet): a Level 2 charger that ended up being a bit over 5kW. We got enough charge over the next few hours to where Google Maps showed arriving with 5% for the remaining 77 miles, and the car showed 100mi range. We decided that was enough of a pad to give it a shot and be able to get home by midnight.

We maximized efficiency by tucking behind trucks most of the way, and then turned off to a shorter two-lane road with a 45/50 mph speed limit. We immediately jumped from 6% predicted on arrival to 8% as Google Maps rerouted. This was a lesson that reinforced the simple physics that EV’s are less efficient at higher speeds. We made it home with 8% (as Google predicted), took a shower and crashed. The total duration of the trip from Manhattan was about 30 hours with only charging stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Driving experience

I tried the OPD to start, but I discovered I was more comfortable with it off. It seemed more natural and maybe it helped with my decent consumption. I set the steering on medium and turned creep off. No creep is a bit of a change - I still catch myself holding the brake when at a stop and expecting to start moving when I let off, but I think the No Creep behavior is actually more logical. I am getting used to it pretty quickly.

The suspension is firm and makes for a solid platform; it is not nearly as stiff as my Volvo, but still sporty for such a heavy car. I will play with the adjustments on the Ohlins at some point, but I'm pretty happy as-is.

One of the most interesting discoveries for me is how valuable the Pilot Assist features are. I love ACC and the steering assist working together. It makes following, passing, and cruising amazingly easy. I didn’t find the steering assist fighting me, and the warning to provide steering input was reasonably timed and became something that I responded to unconsciously. The overtaking assist worked wonderfully and is ideal for moderately busy interstate traffic between cities. I found it actually reduced the cognitive load of long periods of highway driving and allowed me to be more relaxed. I’m hooked now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Other observations
  • My Wifi works and connects to my home network. I get both the 4G and the WiFi connection symbols on the center display. I’m not really sure if it’s actually using the WiFi network for anything - I may put a monitor on traffic from the car’s IP address at some point in the future.
  • The seat extensions are very good for long drives - they support my legs nicely as I am tall.
  • The material at knee height on the door and center console need more padding - my knees are sore from being in contact with them for long periods of time.
  • The front seats lie nearly flat - both my son and I were able to sleep in the passenger side while moving, and we could both stretch out and rest a bit during a long charge.
  • Android Automotive has a way to go to match a typical Android experience. Especially that more apps need to be ported over. I use Google Podcasts and it surprises me it isn’t already there to compete with PocketCast.
  • The HK sound system is very good. Excellent bass from the subwoofer without being boomy. I haven’t felt the need to monkey around with the advanced EQ, just some treble boost for my old ears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Summary
This was a great adventure and a nice bonding experience for my son and I - we've both been so busy with life for the past many years and rarely had time together alone. Plus it saved me quite a bit of money actually - the delivery charge to truck it on an open trailer would have been $1500 and I would still be waiting for it. My total all-in cost (air tickets, hotel, charging, meals, etc.) was about $800. Worked out nicely!

I love this car and look forward to driving it every chance I get. It's a head-turner and challenges people I talk to about it to think differently about what vehicle they might buy next. I think more people in my circle of friends, family, and acquaintances will seriously consider a BEV in the next few years.

One last note - I did talk to Jeff again yesterday evening and he confirmed the Polestar and Signet engineers had found the issue and it was a Polestar software flaw - Polestar will be pushing out a fix, hopefully in the next OTA update. I hope it is soon as I can't take a long trip easily without depending on the Electrify America fast chargers at this point. They have the best coverage around here.

I hope you enjoyed this long missive. Comments welcome. :)
 

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Thanks for the great read!!
I think you’ve confirmed for all of us we can use the car for longer road trips! What an adventure - that should hopefully get better with the Signet fix!
 

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Trip to NY
I.... grabbed a couple of slices,
How was the pizza?
Great report Mick.
I love you got to spend a memorable time with your son.
It really is a shame you miss out on the full functionality of the headlights. Especially on such a long trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And now photos post trip:
2378

New and old. My 1996 850R - only car I've owned since I bought it new. And now the new one! Of course my wife has been through several vehicles in the intervening 25 years.

2379
2380
2381
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Last photos for now. I am very happy with Midnight - it always looks good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the great read!!
I think you’ve confirmed for all of us we can use the car for longer road trips! What an adventure - that should hopefully get better with the Signet fix!
Yes, and it will get better over time. I just need to think differently about road trips. With this car I need to plan more and longer breaks and that likely makes for a better trip. No more pushing through and being burnt out at the end. Enforced breaks during charges. No more hitting a drive through and eating while driving in the interest of making time. :)

How was the pizza?
Great report Mick.
I love you got to spend a memorable time with your son.
Dave, I love NY pizza so it was a nice add. I spend a lot of time in NY for work...well pre-COVID anyway...and I make it a point to have a couple slices every trip. It was fun with my son, but we were both happy to get back to our wives, and especially his 6 month old daughter. We had a great homecoming, even if it was way later than expected.
 

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Good write up Mick, I think your posts may have taken just as long to plan as your trip. Like @dave I agree that this would have been a great experience with your son....if you’re anything like me though you won’t let him wash your car though!!

I hope you have many years of trouble free driving. Where’s the nearest service centre for you just in case?

Enjoy the new car and big shame that you and others can’t use the beauty of these excellent headlights....it really is a light show and works really well.
 

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Great write up! I’m in Alabama and have to rely on the EA charging network for DC charging as well. I even had the idea to fly up to NYC and collect the car myself as you did, but this has helped me decide not to. Plus my wife probably would have divorced me for leaving her alone with our young kids.

I do hope they can rectify the issues with the Signet chargers soon. I have a trip planned to East Tennessee in the spring with the wife, and the EA chargers are essential.

Congratulations on the new car! Jeff in NYC is still telling me I’m on track for a December delivery. Here’s hoping...
 

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Thank you! It looks like I'll have a much shorter but otherwise similar trip with my daughter at the end of this week.

BTW, ALL cars are much less efficient at high speeds... We just don't pay attention in ICE cars.

And great tip about the chargers. I'll take that into account when planning the route home.
 
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Your experience with EA was the same as mine leaving NYC.. I am glad to hear it will be addressed eventually.

I had not realized different providers (signet) on the same network could cause such a different experience.

I was able to use an older EA Charger so I had incorrectly assumed it meant it was resolved.
 
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