Paying for a power boost in an EV—good idea or worst idea?

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For some years now, the tech industry has been transforming the automobile. We often hear that consumers, enamored with their new smartphones, want some of that same functionality in their new car. Less is said about investors who have grown rich from software companies that sell a product and then charge customers a subscription or fee to unlock certain features. They really do want that functionality in their car company investments, so the era of being offered paid upgrades to your car is here whether you want it or not.

Today, Polestar announced a power upgrade for owners of the long-range, dual-motor Polestar 2, whose two motors generated an equal 201 hp (150 kW) for a combined 402 hp (300 kW). That’s more than sufficient to make the dual-motor Polestar 2 a quick car, befitting the new brand’s stated identity of being focused on electric performance cars.

The only problem is those electric Volvos that share the Polestar 2’s CMA platform. Both the Volvo C40 and XC40 have dual-motor battery-electric vehicles that, just like the Polestar 2, offer a combined 402 hp. With cars so utterly defined by the software that controls them, it’s easier than it used to be to give them different driving personalities. But perhaps to create a bit more differentiation, Polestar has always offered a performance pack.

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