Category

Automotive

A Day in the Bay Area with Polestar 2

By | Automotive

Big announcements need to reach big audiences, and Volta is helping one electric car brand do just that.

Polestar is launching Polestar 2, the company’s first all-electric car designed to appeal to a broader and more progressive audience of drivers. With consumer mobility behaviors transforming as conversion to “driving electric” occurs, Polestar and Volta will play a critical role in shaping those behaviors. Polestar 2 is designed to provide the same performance, feel and driving enjoyment of a great driver’s car with none of the previous downsides of owning an electric vehicle, including range anxiety. A common worry among electric vehicle drivers, range anxiety is simultaneously being combated by Volta’s growing network of free, conveniently-located charging stations as well as the Polestar 2’s extended range. Range anxiety may feel real, but is increasingly no longer a true risk of ownership in many parts of the country.

To build excitement around the launch of the all-electric Polestar 2, Polestar has leveraged Volta’s place-based media to showcase the introduction of their new car, clearly aligning their promotion strategy with the values of sustainability and clean energy.

As such, we are excited to announce that Polestar has opened a Brand Experience Center in downtown San Francisco. We’ve crafted the perfect day around it, utilizing Volta’s free, convenient public charging stations to view this innovative new car in its own “natural habitat” in the context of the equally beautiful, environmentally conscious Bay Area.

Start your day off in the Marina District. Perhaps you decided not to charge your Polestar 2 at home beforehand, or perhaps you don’t have a charging station at your home – imagine you  have 100+ miles left in your battery, as your total range of the Polestar 2 is in the mid 200s.

Drive 1.9 miles out to Crissy Field

    • Take a beautiful morning walk along the water, sipping on hot coffee in your reusable travel mug and enjoying gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Meanwhile, your car is sipping up free electrons at a Volta charger.
    • Total time: 45 minutes
    • Total range added: 20+ miles

Drive 4.4 miles to the Polestar Brand Experience Center at 281 Geary Street

    • Now, for the main event of your day: the Polestar showroom. The space will give you the opportunity to get up close and personal with the car and ask product experts any questions you have. After you’ve geeked out enough over the Polestar 2, you’re ready for lunch – and Union Square has plenty of options to choose from. Grab a sandwich at Cafe La Tazita or a salad from Cafe Bistro and enjoy a socially distant lunch outside.
    • Total time: 3 hours
    • Total range added: 90+ miles

Drive 10.4 miles to Stonestown Galleria

    • While you could use the Volta free fast-charger at the Galleria to add 100+ miles during a quick pit stop, by now your battery is almost full. Since you want to stay here longer, you plug your Polestar into one of the six Level 2 chargers that Volta offers instead.  The amenities are endless – stop by the famous Boudin Bakery for a post-lunch dessert, run some errands (Whole Foods, Bank of America, Apple, Trader Joe’s and Target are all in the vicinity) and grab an espresso at Peet’s Coffee to rejuvenate yourself.
    • Total time: 2.5 hours
    • Total range added: 60+ miles

Drive 43 miles to Blackhawk Plaza

    • Meet up with East Bay friends for a socially distant picnic from Draeger’s Market or yoga in the park.
    • Total time: 2 hours
    • Total range added: 48+ miles

To head home after an eventful day, you drive 39 miles back home to the Marina district. While you’ve driven your Polestar 2 a total of 96 miles on your fun day in the bay, charge-wise, you’re actually up a few miles from where you started. You’ve shopped and dined at all your normal, favorite spots.  You’ve enjoyed the scenery.  You’ve done so in your luxurious Polestar 2 – and all for free with Volta chargers. That is how you #DriveForward.

From the Model T to Model 3: Shifting Perceptions in Transportation Innovation

By | Automotive

Those considering purchasing a Model T at the turn of the century had to contend with a lack of paved roads, limited availability of gas and a hefty price tag. Despite these hurdles, cars replaced horses in a surprisingly quick timeframe—about 10 to 15 years. 

Drivers considering going electric today have fewer impediments. Yet according to a recent AAA study, 91% of those considering buying an electric car say they have at least one lingering concern. Getting stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery was at the top of the list. But what are the chances of that actually happening? 

The term “range anxiety” was first used by the press in 1997 while referring to feedback from drivers of General Motors EV1 electric car. Keep in mind that the model initially provided a range of 60 miles per charge. While they overwhelmingly loved their cars, EV1 drivers became worried as they reached the limits of the car’s driving range.

Although eventually scrapped, the EV1 program helped inspire today’s proliferation of electric vehicles that have a range of up to 370 miles. Elon Musk even claimed it as the inspiration for starting Tesla. Drivers have many models to choose from in 2020, from nearly every car manufacturer, and there is a variety of charging options outside of the home.

This is where Volta comes in. For a decade now we have been building out a nationwide charging network where drivers want to spend their time. Volta gives drivers the opportunity to charge where they shop and hang out—even while they catch a movie or the big game. The expansion of infrastructure and improved battery range helps to explain the AAA study, which revealed that while drivers still had worries before purchasing an electric vehicle, they melted away once behind the wheel. Another factor is that most households drive an average of 30 to 40 miles per day, which fits well with the current state of driving electric. The survey was conducted at the end of 2019 and included 1,090 plug-in electric vehicle drivers, most were first time owners.

Other results from the AAA survey showed overall satisfaction with electric vehicle capabilities and driving experience:

  • 96% said they would buy or lease another electric vehicle the next time they were in the market for a new car.
  • 43% of electric vehicle owners said they drive more now than when they owned a gas-powered car.
  • 78% indicated that they also had a gas-powered car in the household, but reported doing most of their driving (87%) in their electric vehicle.

We are in the midst of a massive shift in transportation and in the perception of electric vehicles. Volta is at the forefront by using data-driven modeling to predict when, where and how charging needs are evolving across the country. While driving electric still involves a spirit of adventure and innovation—the leap of faith is paying off for drivers—just as it did over 100 years ago when the first adopters of the Model T set off onto streets crowded with horse-drawn carriages.

How Electric Carmakers Make Billions from Fuel-Burning Competitors

By | Automotive

Sometimes it pays to be ahead of the curve.

While electric vehicles were once burdened by range anxiety and skimpy charger infrastructure, they’ve since ridden a wave of dramatic growth and mainstream acceptance. In fact, electric vehicle carmakers are enjoying the last laugh in more ways than one.

Why are the naysayers being proved wrong in spades? It’s not just that battery power has gone from zero to hero in the public eye. Electric vehicle carmakers are enjoying an unexpected windfall thanks to their future-forward ways because U.S. and European regulators have developed laws requiring carmakers to meet CO2 standards or face fines. Subsequently, manufacturers have relied on purchasing carbon credits from other carmakers if their fuel-burning fleets don’t meet the minimums.

Electric car offerings mean some manufacturers are way ahead in the carbon dioxide game, which doesn’t reflect too kindly on more internal combustion-focused carmakers. Brands like Fiat Chrysler, for instance, contributed more than $100 million to Tesla’s bottom line in 2018 because they didn’t attract enough buyers to their electric lineup. Similarly, Tesla has racked up more than $1.7 billion in carbon credits since 2012. In 2017 alone, electric vehicle-minded Toyota and Honda snagged nearly $110 million for the battery-powered cars in their portfolio—proof that progress, despite bumpy beginnings, can go richly rewarded.

The Year of the Electric Car

By | Automotive

World Copyright:
Mike Dodd / Beadyeye
Patrick Gosling / Beadyeye

There are over a million electric vehicles on U.S. roads, but 2020 is the year electric vehicles finally graduate from mere alternatives to internal combustion to a true force to be reckoned with.

Thanks to a tidal wave of new models from manufacturers, drivers will have an unprecedented array of options at their fingertips in the coming year: 40 models were available in 2019, and some 14 more options are expected to join the fray in 2020, stateside. Europeans will see the number leap from under 100 to 175.

Buzzworthy sleds like Porsche’s Taycan and Tesla’s long-awaited Model Y are right around the corner, Polestar is finally coming to market with the attainable follow-up to their sexy six-figure coupe and affordable offerings from the likes of the Volvo XC40 Recharge are bringing debut offerings from less mainstream brands. While sleeker, more affordable offerings will be hitting the road, the battery-powered genre is also getting bolstered by greater charging options. Volta’s network continues its expansion into metropolitan areas including LA, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C., joining some 20,000 charging outlets across the country. And as charging outlets become more plentiful, so do the distances electric vehicles can cover, with anticipated models like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and BMW i4 offering 300 and nearly 400 miles of range, respectively.

The rise of electric vehicles comes despite the phaseout of the U.S. Government’s federal tax credits. The silver lining for the electric car industry? Growth that is driven by genuine interest, not artificial stimulation. And that energy should continue well beyond 2020, proving to be more than a flash in the pan. With Volkswagen announcing plans to produce 1.5 million electric vehicles in 2025 and premium players like Audi, Bentley Motors and Mercedes-Benz going all-in on the technology, electric vehicles are proving to be both of the moment, and ready for the future.