One historic drive: Polestar 3 and the Pacific Coast Highway

There are a few journeys that every car fan should make. Sacred asphalt imbued with a unique kind of history. One not just of cars themselves, but celebrity, food, music and everything else in-between. The Pacific Coast Highway is one of them.

Polestar 3 rear driving down the PCH.

Stretching over 1000km, the State Route 1 is the major arterial highway that covers nearly the entire North American Pacific Coastline.

But it’s the Pacific Coast Highway of SR 1, or PCH as it’s known to locals, that is the most famous part of that epic road. The whole drive takes about 10 hours and is perfect territory for testing cars in real-world situations.

In this case, it’s the Polestar 3 with its 610km range that will be embarking on that epic drive. The car is currently being tested extensively around the world, only recently visiting the UAE for hot weather testing.

Next up, range and charging. Which is where the PCH comes in.

Polestar 3 rear driving down PCH during sun set.
Polestar 3 HMI close-up.

The team set off from San Jose, picking up the PCH from Santa Cruz. As Californian as it gets.

Home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. It is a true mecca for fans of the sport, with artifacts showcasing some of the earliest origins of Californian surf culture. Unfortunately for the Polestar 3 test team however, there was no time to catch any waves.

Really though, the PCH gets started proper around Monterey. Known by petrol heads the world over for Pebble Beach and its iconic car meet. Or to jazz fans, for its world-famous Monterey Jazz festival.

Collage of birds in the blue skies, a Polestar 3 side shot by the ocean and a close-up of the Polestar 3 front.

The Polestar 3 uses a powerful 111kW battery with dual motors. This means plenty of power but also plenty of range. But all those miles are no use if it takes an age to charge.

Polestar 3 is capable of up to 250kW DC charging, which means 10-80% in 30 mins. It’s exactly this that the team on the PCH wanted to test.

Polestar 3 steering wheel.
Polestar 3 side view looking over the ocean.

There are plenty of chargers all the way along the PCH, which made for a good opportunity to also test the cars’ intelligent route planning tech, which uses Google Maps to plan any necessary charging stops on any given route.

With the Polestar 3’s battery full charged, the team carried on along the Pacific Coast Highway towards the Bixby Bridge. Epic views of the pacific are met with crashing waves below.


For a lot of Californians the Bixby Bridge crossing is ‘peak pch’.

The views stretch out across the Pacific, with the occasional seal bobbing its head above the water. It’s a real road trip moment and perfect territory for the Polestar 3.

We conclude our journey at ‘Big Sur’, or El Sur Grande “The big south”. Here the PCH cuts a line through the land with ocean on one side and the stunning Santa Lucia Mountains on the other. It’s as rugged as California gets.

The Californian counter-culture movement found its home there in the 1960s, with writers like Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac writing some of their earliest pieces from the small beaches and towns that dot the coastline.

For the Polestar 3, as bohemian as its test team might be, beatnik-writing is not on the agenda. This road trip is over and testing complete.


Polestar 2 charging outside Polestar HQ in Gothenburg

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