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Volvo Embraces The Fully Electric Future With The Reveal Of The 7-Seater EX90

Swedish automaker Volvo has long been known for its high-quality vehicles, with a focus on safety-first designs. More recently, the automaker embraced the fully electric future with a commitment to sell only full electric vehicles by 2030. As part of the 2030 plan, Volvo will introduce a new fully electric vehicle each year leading up to 2030.

A fully electric Volvo lineup is one step closer to reality today, as the automaker has revealed a full electric version of its flagship 7-seater SUV dubbed the EX90 in Stockholm, Sweden. The bar for the new vehicle was high, as it not only had to live up to what Volvo stands for today, but also to define what Volvo’s flagship vehicles will look and feel like as a fully electric vehicle. “The Volvo EX90 is a statement for where we are, and where we are going,” Jim Rowan, Volvo’s CEO, said.

Right out of the gate, the EX90 delivers, with a range of 300 miles per charge. That’s plenty of range for apartment dwellers who aren’t able to charge their vehicles every night as well as road trippers looking to maximize the amount of time on the road between charging sessions.

Volvo is taking a step into the future of EV charging and has made the EX90 the first Volvo vehicle to come with all the necessary in-vehicle hardware for bi-directional charging. The promise of true vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration has yet to be fully realized and it’s exciting to see Volvo taking a bold step beyond vehicle into the energy side of the equation.

The new bi-directional capability is more than just a footnote on a page. Volvo has leveraged this capability and built a home energy management solution that will help owners optimize their overall energy consumption and emissions. The new offering will initially be available in a few select markets and could even open up some new revenue options for owners and Volvo, depending on how things play out.

When it’s time to charge up on the go, Volvo has helped to smooth over some of the bumps in that road as well. The Volvo Cars app includes hundreds of thousands of public charging points around the world and has integrated them into the vehicle experience through the Google Maps app. Finding public charging stations has been a challenge for many EVs, so it’s exciting to see Volvo actively working to make public charging a more seamless experience for owners.

Underpinning this new vehicle experience is the fact that the new EX90 is a fully electric, zero-tailpipe-emission vehicle. Its twin electric motors deliver a near-silent ride which translates to a more refined experience for all occupants.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking these two permanent magnet electric motors are slouches. Combined, they push out 370 kilowatts (496 horsepower) and a whopping 671 lb-ft of torque. That provides power to all the wheels and sharing maximum control regardless of the situation.

By eliminating the internal combustion engine from the front of the vehicle, electric vehicles enable a paradigm shift in safety, and Volvo has embraced that to make the EX90 one of the safest vehicles ever to wear the Volvo badge. It features a full suite of cameras, radar, and lidar sensors that feed into an NVIDIA DRIVE computer that serves as the brain of the vehicle’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Volvo EX90 Lidar Radar Sensors

EX90 sensors, courtesy of Volvo Cars.

Volvo Cars built its ADAS software in-house to ensure the EX90 is always looking out for the driver and occupants even when they’re not fully alert. Importantly, the solution includes driver monitoring to ensure it is not only looking outside for threats but also inside to ensure the driver is fully alert when operating the vehicle. It subtly nudges the driver with alerts and can even take over and bring the vehicle to a complete stop and call for help if it determines the driver is not able to operate the vehicle.

The NVIDIA compute system also powers the EX90’s infotainment system with a 15-in center screen serving as the primary interface. The system comes with Google built right in with all of the Google apps and services people are used to using on their devices integrated directly into the car. For those who prefer Apple, don’t worry — the EX90’s system will also be compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay.

Volvo is ushering in handful of new core technologies with the EX90 as well. It boasts 5G connectivity, phone key technology, and a quality Bowers and Wilkins audio setup that delivers Volvo’s first in-car Dolby Atmos experience to everyone inside. Using a smartphone to lock and unlock a vehicle has become synonymous with electric vehicles and it’s exciting to see Volvo bring this to their customers as well.

Stepping back and looking at the EX90, it’s clear Volvo is taking a comprehensive approach to rethinking not only its brand but the entire customer experience with its line of electric vehicles. Integrating new technologies and moving away from legacy technologies is risky, but it’s clear Volvo understands the reason behind it and the potential upsides in safety and customer experience they can bring. These improvements all feel like natural extensions of the Volvo brand, carrying it forward into the future, one vehicle and one technology at a time.

 
 
 
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Written By

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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