Volvo Cars and Polestar, the two brands within the same automotive group, simultaneously announced initiation of their first ever over-the-air (OTA) software update.

The OTA update is available for two all-electric models - the Volvo XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2 - which are based on the same CMA platform and equipped with basically the same EV tech.

Volvo and Polestar are joining a growing group of manufacturers that include OTA in their cars, a feature pioneered by Tesla in the 2012 Model S. The other manufacturers that introduced OTA are Volkswagen, Ford, NIO and Xpeng, to name just a few.

"The introduction of OTA updates means that customers no longer have to visit a workshop in order to enjoy the latest software and new, updated features on their electric Volvo.

It also means that a new Volvo is no longer at its finest when it leaves the factory, but keeps improving over time as additional OTA updates are launched."

Henrik Green, Volvo's chief technology officer said:

“The benefits of over-the-air updates are obvious. Yesterday you still had to drive to the workshop in order to get the latest updates to your car. Today you simply click OK and your electric Volvo takes care of the rest. It couldn’t be easier.”

Volvo first ever over-the-air software update on XC40 Recharge
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Polestar 2 over-the-air software update
Polestar 2 over-the-air software update

More range and quicker charging?

The list of changes in both models includes:

  • a new base software for the car’s main electronic systems
  • an increase in charging speed
  • an improved driving range
  • updates to the Android Automotive operating system that powers the car’s infotainment system
  • an important safety-related propulsion bug fix
  • updates to a variety of items such as Bluetooth connectivity, climate timers, the car’s digital owner’s manual and the 360-degree camera

We are extremely curious about the "range improvements and incremental speed improvements for DC charging" reported by both brands.

There are no numbers, so we don't know exactly how much it improved, but we can expect a small boost. Maybe the available battery capacity was widened a little bit and the battery accepts now higher amperage. The range increase could also be a result of some changes in how the drive units are used.

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge
2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Polestar 2
Polestar 2

Info from Polestar:

"OTA updates allow Polestar to address a wide variety of items – from introducing new features, bug fixes and stability improvements, to charging speed increases, range improvements and new base software. In combination with the always-connected and always-updated infotainment system powered by Android Automotive OS, Polestar 2 presents a holistic and robust digital environment that is constantly improving."

"A new safety feature is part of the latest update. Connected Safety improves driving safety by warning the driver of potential hazards on the road using data collected from other Polestar and Volvo vehicles. For example, the cloud-based service records when other vehicles react to slippery conditions with the intervention of traction control while driving, or when another vehicle that has been involved in a collision poses a potential hazard along the route."

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO comments:

“With OTA we bring the latest software updates straight to Polestar 2 customers just like they experience it on their smartphones. Our engineers are constantly improving functionality and developing new features, and with OTA we will be able to push new software out regularly – which means that even the earliest cars can run the latest version and gain new features.”