Think of Volvo, and you'll probably think of safety, or stately Scandinavian design. Those in the know might also think of exquisite interiors, and some of the best automotive seats in the business. Perhaps less known is that Volvo has quietly pieced together one of the most robust electrified line-ups on the market, including plug-in hybrid variants of most of their vehicles and several well-received full-EV offerings. This isn't even counting Polestar, the design-forward fully electric sister brand born out of Volvo's performance division.
Today, Volvo announced a big (small) new piece of that line-up: the new EX30. The EX30 is a small, premium SUV with a starting price of just $34,950. For that price, buyers are getting commendable EV range (275 miles for the RWD version) in a clean, sophisticated package that is smaller than its XC40 Recharge sibling. Opt for the Twin Motor model, and you'll get 422hp and a 0-60 time of just 3.4 seconds, unheard of for the brand that invented safety belts. You know what they say, sometimes the best defense is a little offense, right?
Speaking of defense, this Volvo is also providing some for cyclists, alerting the driver before they open their door if a bicycle or scooter is approaching in the bike lane. Urban delivery riders thank you very much for that one, Volvo.
In terms of sustainability, Volvo has considered the manufacturing process as much as the car, reducing the EX30's total carbon footprint over 124,274 miles (200,000 kms) of driving to below 30 tons. Because this model will initially be built in China, we do not expect that it will qualify for U.S. Clean Vehicle Tax Credits. Volvo is planning a new factory in the US, but there is no official word on whether this model will eventually be produced there.
For charging, the extended-range Twin Motor variant boasts a charging capacity of up to 153 kW, enabling a charge from 10 to 80 percent in a little over 26.5 minutes. The car's center display and app provide users with control over the charging process, allowing them to customize settings such as amperage, maximum charging level, and schedule charging.
Inside the EX30, gone is the driver cluster in favor of a single-screen user experience, incorporating Google services and running the latest version of Volvo's infotainment system. This will no doubt be controversial for some buyers, as it has been for Tesla who offer a similar configuration. Unlike Tesla, Volvo uses an Android-based operating system and supports both Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Additionally, the EX30 introduces a new generation of Volvo's Park Pilot Assist, promising to park autonomously in a wider variety of parking scenarios.
Also announced today was a future Cross Country Variant, which will include features like increased ground clearance, distinctive black wheels, and Cross Country branding. This model will arrive sometime in 2024.
Volvo makes compelling electrified vehicles and at just $34,950 this EX30 looks to be a very enticing value. This is a lot of style, safety and usability for the price, and with very usable range. We do wish the DC Fast charge speed was a little higher, competing with the likes of Tesla and Hyundai who offer faster charging vehicles within spitting-distance of this price point, but 153kW peak is in line with the middle of the market in 2023 and certainly not a dealbreaker. Driver's will no doubt have opinions on the lack of a driver gauge cluster or dedicated screen behind the wheel, but we tend to think it's just one of those things you get used to.
We look forward to getting behind the wheel of this EX30, and expect it to be a popular choice in the market.