Sustainably driven: A Tasmanian road trip with Polestar


For sustainably minded travellers who want to go at their own pace, exploring Tasmania in a Polestar 2 EV allows you to take in the island state’s glorious natural surroundings.

Tunes blasting, long winding roads, and ever-changing scenery, there’s nothing quite like a road trip. Whether there’s a destination in mind or the journey itself is the main attraction, a driving holiday has plenty of appeal and can be crafted to suit any type of traveller. But driving a traditional petrol vehicle is at odds with those who are conscious of their environmental impact.

Tasmania has been leading the charge with electric vehicles, bolstered by government incentives and a robust charging infrastructure. The state can also lean on its hydroelectric scheme, meaning the power used to charge an EV is coming from a renewable source.

With approximately 80 charging stations across the small island state and many more in the pipeline, Tassie’s environmental credentials make it the perfect place for an EV driving holiday — and there are no worries about running out of battery in the middle of nowhere. Plus, to make planning an eco-friendly trip even easier, a Polestar 2 can be rented exclusively from Hertz.

The Journey

So, where to go? Flying into Hobart as a central destination puts you in the middle of the action. While there are many sights across the island, I head northeast to Freycinet. A coastal route, the landscape is ever-changing, from craggy hills and forested areas to open roads that snake alongside the water. I can highly recommend it for drivers who want to see the many faces of Tassie scenery, quaint towns included.

There are many worthwhile stops along this section of the state and plenty of charging stations. I stop in Triabunna for a pitstop and refuel — and a chance to stretch the legs — then press ahead to Devil’s Corner with maps navigating the way. The integrated Android tech makes the car feel intuitive and easy to navigate, which is always a bonus when stepping into an unfamiliar vehicle.

The Polestar handles roads incredibly well, hugging the corners and hairpin turns with ease, as well as fast acceleration. As a first-time EV driver, one-pedal driving takes a little getting used to but was no hindrance at all. Essentially, when you take your foot off the accelerator, the car brakes, leveraging the force to recharge the battery. Aside from a couple of mildly jarring brakes, it’s a smooth way to decelerate.

The breathtaking view makes itself immediately known when pulling into Devil’s Corner Winery. It’s set on a pristine outcrop that looks across a marine reserve to the Hazard mountains in the distance. Even if wine is not your thing, it’s worth a stop, with a stunning lookout to climb up and take in even more of the view. This architecturally award-winning building was designed by Cumulus Studio in 2015, and the operators have recently added a cellar door to extend the space available to patrons, which is brimming in the warmer months.

After a bite to eat, it’s on to my destination for the day, Freycinet Lodge. The lodge is in the heart of the national park and is equipped with charging ports, matching natural beauty with convenience for EV drivers.

While the car charges overnight, I enjoy a selection of local foods and wines at the lodge — Tasmania really doesn’t disappoint when it comes to those seeking gourmand offerings. The morning brings the opportunity for a brisk walk to take in the full splendour of this region. Tours can be booked through the lodge, and a guide from Freycinet Walking Tours takes a group of us for a two-hour round trip up to the Wine Glass Bay lookout.

An early lunch stop at Freycinet Marine Farm is a must; it’s one of the oldest oyster farms in Tasmania. Our host delves into the history of oyster farming, sharing that 80 per cent of the world’s oysters come from Japan, which were offered as reparation after World War II. Chowing down on a half (or a full dozen) oysters is also about as sustainable as it gets, being a carbon-positive and future-proofed protein.

With a two-hour drive back to the airport ahead, it’s time to hit the road. Fortunately, spending hours behind the wheel of a Polestar is nothing but luxurious and comfortable.

Sustainability first and foremost

Launched in 2018, Polestar is a new kind of EV company, originating in Sweden. Founded on sustainability, Polestar aims to eliminate emissions, not only from its vehicles but throughout the entire supply chain. This commitment is most evident in Project 0, the brand’s ambitious goal to create a climate-neutral vehicle by 2030.

Polestar’s commitment to sustainability rests on the foundation of transparency. Through the use of Blockchain technology, the brand has established the means to meticulously monitor and trace the origins of high-risk materials and minerals — cobalt, lithium, mica, and nickel, for example — in its supply chain, guaranteeing ethical sourcing practices. It was the first car brand to do so and continues to find ways to innovate.

End-of-lifecycle is another crucial consideration, and even the aluminium shell has been pre-stamped so that when it’s disassembled, the different grades of metal can be easily reprocessed.

In an era where environmental concerns have reached critical levels, Polestar makes it possible to have a road trip-style holiday and one of luxury. And Tasmania is the perfect place to explore food, wine, and nature.

Photography courtesy of Polestar.

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