Scorching deserts and humid cities – pushing Polestar 3 to the limit

Hot-weather testing is one of the toughest moments in any car's development life cycle. For the Polestar 3, we chose the UAE's scorching deserts and humid cities to push the car to its limits.

Side view of Polestar 3 in the desert
We go to the UAE for testing because there is no simulation that can mimic a real-world test. You can run a marathon on a treadmill, but it's very different doing it in real life.
Clément Heinen, Product Attribute Leader

The Al Ain desert in the United Arab Emirates can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). For any car company, this is one of the most extreme testing environments you can visit. But it's not just extremes of heat; the cities of the UAE can experience humidity on a level that is difficult to comprehend. For example, Dubai on a hot day can reach 90% humidity.Dealing with those extreme temperatures on the Polestar 3 test team was Clément Heinen, Product Attribute Leader. 

"The moments you capture testing in the UAE are rare to notice anywhere else in the world. In the peak of summer, it's just about the most extreme place you would ever expect a customer to drive.""We go there to test because there is no simulation that can mimic a real-world test. You can run a marathon on a treadmill, but it's very different doing it in real life."

Rear view of Polestar 3 with three people next to it looking at a computer

And this is the key Testing a car in a controlled environment like a climate-controlled tunnel, with a simulated "sun," can only tell you so much about how it might behave in the real world. In order to achieve the standards we expect from Polestar 3, a trip to the deserts of the UAE is a huge benefit.A factor of this test and the main responsibility of Clément's job is to define the "identity" of a Polestar for a customer. In this case, it was to ensure that no matter what, the Polestar 3 remained a cool and comfortable vehicle to travel in.Testing in the UAE the team drove multiple 300-km (186-mile) days in temperatures hitting up to 50 °C (122 °F). The car toured some of the most remote parts of the desert to test the most extreme of potential driving scenarios.

Close-up of Polestar logo on the front of Polestar 3.
Close up of brake callipers on Polestar 3

"If you combine ambient heat and humidity, DC charging and multiple dynamic driving situations, you have pretty much the biggest load on any climate system."The Polestar 3 test cars were subjected to these temperature torture tests over multiple weeks. The team worked diligently to ensure that the software and hardware worked perfectly together regardless of the challenges that the climate system faced.This fine tuning and validation of systems means that the team gets a consistent experience across a huge ambient temperature range. They don't just test in the desert, they hit the sub-zero temperatures of northern Sweden too. Every detail from cabin preconditioning to fan speeds are tested and refined across different locations to get the cabin temperature experience correct.

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"When cooling the cabin, there is also the added challenge of cooling the battery. The entire cooling system needs to maintain the correct temperatures for the battery pack and the cabin itself. The team has a huge mix of things that can require power for cooling, so we spend weeks and months debating strategies to best deliver efficiency, cabin comfort, and battery cooling."It's this helicopter view of the whole car's systems that enables the test team to deliver strategies and software that customers won't even notice exist. Get it right, and you really can drive your EV through the 50-degree Celcius (122-degree Fahrenheit ) desert in comfort. So here's a nod to our engineers - out there in the desert, developing software to ensure your Polestar driving experience is premium in any environment.

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