Will You Pay For A Downloadable Power Boost In Your EV?


In case subscriptions for basic services like heated seats or cruise control weren’t enough, automakers are now beginning to sell packages that unlock the extra power your car was hiding in plain site all this time. Mercedes recently rolled out a  subscription for $1,200 that unleashes the full power potential of the EQE And EQS sedans and SUVs and it requires you to pay that each year to keep the extra oomph.

Polestar is also offering more power via an over-the-air upgrade, but it took a different approach and offers 68 more ponies for a one-time charge of $1,195. As the world shifts towards the ability to literally download more horsepower, will you be willing to pony up some cash for a few more ponies?

Unlike mods that one might do on their own, these are factory-backed upgrades. There’s no degradation of warranty coverage.

There are a few subtle sub-questions that come into play surrounding this topic. For one thing, how much are you willing to pay per horsepower? Perhaps there’s a better metric but for now, that might be the best one. For example, the aforementioned upgrade in the Polestar equates to about 1 hp for every $17.50.

More: Mercedes Won’t Sell Paid Subscription For More Power To European EV Owners

That’s not a terrible tradeoff compared to some mods that one might perform on an internal combustion engine. Don’t forget to factor labor into the equation. Sure, a piggyback tuner can achieve similar gains for less cash but the use of such a tool can void a warranty. Go for power adders like cams, heads, exhaust mods, or intake mods and the labor can inflate the bill quickly.

The next question is, would you rather pay less and have to renew the deal on a subscription-based regular schedule (month/year/etc) or just pay once and be done? There’s obviously going to be a tipping point there too so where is it? It’s pretty clear that Polestar and Mercedes are very different about how to best serve their customers while also serving their own interests. How do you plan to act when you get a message asking if you’d like to have the extra horsepower for a price?


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