Volvo has never been particularly notorious for providing vehicles that indulge a younger demographic, who are typically lean towards affordable and compact city-cars, as opposed to large, luxurious executive vehicles. This is the stigma that the Volvo Car Group are hoping to displace with the EX30, which was alluded to at the global premiere of the EX90 SUV in November 2022.
As a crossover SUV, the EX30, in terms of size, will sit under the XC40 Recharge and, due to the nature of the younger age group that it is being tailored to attract, will be Volvo’s most economical choice of electric vehicle to date. Therefore, the EX30 will be crucial, not just for diversifying Volvo’s customer profile, but also for meeting their target of 1.2 million annual sales (50% of which will be electric) by 2025.
Much like the EX90, the EX30 will focus on providing a taller ride height and smooth aerodynamic design to enhance range capabilities, and a sporty, sturdy physique. The EX90 will also serve as an archetype whose characteristic design features its smaller equivalent will closely seek to emulate, the closed panel, open lower grille, and distinctive Thor’s hammer headlamps that have become idiosyncratic of Volvo and their sister brand Polestar in their most recent models.
Being owned by Geely, Volvo (and likely by extension Polestar with the upcoming Polestar 4) will make use of the Chinese conglomerate’s SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) platform in the EX30, which currently underpins the Smart #1. Thus, it can be expected that the EX30 will be powered by the same 68 kWh battery as the Smart #1 and be offered in an identical 268 bhp rear-wheel drive or 420 bhp four-wheel drive configuration.
This would allow the EX30 to accomplish a range of around 250 miles and accept 150 kW charging: Volvo deems that, for the average urban-dwelling, first-time buyer of the 90s and early 2000s, these specifications will be more than ideal. Additionally, 150 kW charging compatibility can replenish 80% of its battery from 10% in under half an hour, a testament to the exponential improvement in battery technology in the past few years.
In the customary Scandinavian manner, the interior of the EX30 prioritises sustainability and minimalistic design, coupled with technological efficiency. This will manifest in the form of a collection of recycled materials such as PET bottles in the upholstery, and a “floating” infotainment touchscreen that will dominate the centre console and may even be 15 inches in size if the same touchscreen is used as in the EX90.
The most plausible candidate for the infotainment system itself is Android’s Automotive OS, which will enclose Google’s wealth of services from Google Maps to the Play Store and allow over-the-air software updates to be received.
The EX30 will count among its sparring partners vehicles such as the Mercedes EQA, Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro EV, Mini Aceman, and Peugeot e-2008, with Volvo suggesting that the company will primarily strive to encourage sales through online avenues and a subscription service that will keep monthly instalments at a “reasonably low cost”. This particular emphasis upon enticing the younger and more financially conservative generations of drivers could mean that the EX30 itself may fall below £40,000 when released.
The vehicle itself is planned to be revealed in its entirety on the 15th June and should therefore be on sale towards the latter months of the year, with the Polestar 4 highly anticipated to be paired with it. Whether Volvo’s attempt at producing a more affordable, yet still crucially electrified, alternative to some of their larger and more expensive SUVs foreshadows an increased commitment towards expanding the company’s target demographic, or simply a desire to accelerate their transition towards complete e-mobility remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it is beyond doubt that the EX30 will be essential for Volvo’s wider strategy moving forward.