Polestar 2 – Road trip report: North Coast 500

Polestar 2 - Road trip report: North Coast 500

Alan drove from Surbiton, Surrey to John O’ Groats and back in his Polestar 2 Long range Dual Motor electric car.


Introducing your road trip

Our first really long EV road trip for our Polestar 2 and we decided to take on the beautiful North Coast 500. And it is beautiful, a definite must do in our books. But enough of the scenery, how about the drive?  A total of 1,962 miles in 13 days at an average of 30.2kWh/100 miles costing £135.62. Bargain!


Day one started from home in Surbiton Surrey and saw us to Borrowdale in the Lake District. A little over 300 miles and just the one charging stop at IONITY Stafford. A bank of 6 chargers, all free on arrival and a fast charge that saw us get the full 150kW charge rate and a pub just 2 minutes walk away for a light lunch.


An overnight charge at our hotel and we headed north to Inverness on day 2. Again just over 300 miles, this time we opted for 2 short stops, 15 minutes at IONITY Gretna Green and the same at IONITY Perth. Just time for a coffee at each. At Inverness we had accommodation with (free) overnight charging.


Polestar 2 - Road trip report: North Coast 500


After Inverness, we headed into the NC500, anti-clockwise. More overnight charging at our hotel in John O’Groats with ChargePlace Scotland 50kWh chargers at Bettyhill, Durness, Gairloch, Ullapool & Roybridge. Heading south we charged at Perth & Alnwick with IONITY en route to Whitby where our hotel had assured us they had an EV charger (and then offered at 3 pin plug running at 10A) meaning we had to deviate from the plan for the first time.


En route to York we stopped at City of York’s amazing charging hub for a 150kW charge for free!!! Finally heading back south we stopped at Peterborough’s IONITY. All the IONITY chargers were flawless and with the Polestar 30p/kWh deal and only one wait to charge (less than 5 minutes) it was great.


The ChargePlace Scotland chargers were variable involving lots of phone calls for remote starts. It would have been simpler had I had their card but really what’s wrong with simple contactless payment for all chargers? In total, a really smooth trip and by using fast chargers during coffee, lunch or comfort breaks (and overnight chargers) this journey was as simple as an ICE trip.


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Planning & preparation

ABRP for all the planning and then I simply used each charger as a destination in the Polestar’s built-in Google Maps to ensure the battery was preconditioned for each charging stop. Really simple. ABRP is a great planning tool but it isn’t as good as a driving tool. The car’s in-built maps are the other way around. Could these be better? Yes, but it really wasn’t hard. Plan in ABRP and then simply tell the car “hey Google, navigate to IONITY charger at Perth”.



As above, the IONITY network is amazing and the Polestar Plugsurfing deal works really well. ChargePlace Scotland feels dated in comparison but without their card it’s hard to make a truly fair comparison. That said, on most occasions I could only get the charge started with a phone call but their call centre staff were super friendly and efficient.


Biggest problem and my personal gripe about all EV charging is why not make all chargers, from all suppliers, simple contactless payment? After all, that’s how we fuel ICE cars, so why not EVs? It’s a scrabble for customer data and we really should be mandating suppliers to enable contactless for all users.


Did you encounter any great driving roads on your road trip? If so, where were they and why were they great?

So living close to London, great driving roads are in short supply due to traffic volumes. North of Manchester roads are much less congested but it’s hard to describe the M6 and M74 as great driving roads! The A9 from Perth to Inverness could be, aside from the flawed idea of a pilot scheme to restrict HGVs to 50mph in the average speed zones, but not cars. Effectively that enforces a 50mph for all.


But once north of Inverness the roads are a delight. Particularly in the North East. Big sweeping A roads with minimal traffic and great lines of sight. And just perfect with the Polestar’s dual motors for quick, safe overtaking (but not many cars to overtake!) and the one pedal drive proving perfect for slowing into bends without the brakes. The North West has a lot more single tracks, with passing places, but the views make up for the slower travel. The combination of roads and vistas truly is amazing.


Polestar 2 - Road trip report: North Coast 500


The Polestar 2 

Amazing! Smooth, quiet, refined, quick (very quick) when needed with precise, confidence inspiring handling. Quick charging and so cheap to ‘fuel’.


Road trip conclusion 

Would we do it again? Yes. We were blessed with what might be unusually fine Scottish weather but the whole experience was amazing. Next time we’d pick just 2 or 3 places to stop and stay at each for 3 or 4 nights and make shorter day trips rather than moving onto new accommodation each night.


See other road trip reports here


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