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The Volvo EX30 — Right Sized Electric SUV Offers High Performance At Low Price

Volvo has “unboxed” the EX30, its new compact electric SUV that it expects to be one of its best sellers of all time.

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Volvo officially debuted the EX30 today at what it called an “unboxing event.” Before we go any further, this has got to be one of the best new vehicle reveals of all time, and so let’s go straight to the video, which is a joy to watch.

Wasn’t that a blast? I don’t know when I have enjoyed a new car reveal as much. Now let’s get to the specifics. The EX30 is the smallest car Volvo has ever made. It is also the quickest, at 3.4 seconds to 60 mph. But putting performance aside, the car offers customers a choice of range, power, and interior appointments.

Small Can Be Mighty

Volvo says the EX30 uses about one third less aluminum and steel than its big brother, the EX90. And yet, while it may be small on the outside — its wheelbase is 10 inches shorter than a Tesla Model Y — its cargo capacity of 31.9 cubic feet is 1.6 cubic feet more than the Volkswagen ID.4 and 1.7 cubic feet more than the Tesla Model Y — the world’s best selling car.

Volvo’s emphasis on small is all relative when you dig a little deeper into the specs. The EX30 has just a slightly shorter wheelbase (104.3 inches) than the Volkswagen ID.4 (108.9 inches) and the Tesla Model Y (113.8 inches). Overall, the EX30 is 166.7 inches in length, 61.1 inches tall, and 80 inches wide.

We dug into the claim that the EX30 is the smallest Volvo ever made. Some may remember the PV544, one of the first Volvos imported into the US. It had a wheelbase of 104.4 inches — a tenth of an inch longer than the EX30 — but its length overall was 177 inches — 10 inches more. Still, it’s interesting that Volvos manufactured more than 65 years apart had nearly identical dimensions.

Volvo EX30 Specs

Thor's Hammer Headlights on the Volvo EX30.

In a nod to its Swedish heritage, the Volvo EX30 features Thor’s Hammer headlights.

The Volvo EX30 will come standard with a single rear-mounted motor that packs 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Sharp-eyed readers will note that is nearly 3 seconds seconds faster to 60 than the new Volkswagen ID. Buzz.

Need more zip? Opt for the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain that adds a 154 horsepower motor to the front wheels for a total of 422 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. That’s the one that gets to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Range estimates are 275 miles for the single-motor car and 265 miles for the dual-motor version, but those are not official EPA numbers, which will likely be lower.

Both versions use a 69 kWh battery (64 kWh usable) according to The Verge. That battery can accept up to 153kW of DC fast charging for a zero to 80 percent charge time of 26.5 minutes. “We like to say the EX30 is small yet mighty, because it delivers on everything you’d want from a Volvo but in a smaller package,” says Volvo CEO Jim Rowan.

The EX30 is designed to be as safe as you’d expect from a Volvo car and aims to look after both you and others in hectic urban environments. For example, it includes a special safety feature for bikes that helps to prevent so-called “dooring” accidents — the feature alerts drivers when they are about to open a door in front of a cyclist, scooter, or runner. State-of-the-art protective safety tech further illustrates how Volvo has applied its high safety standards to the EX30, including lidar — a first for such a reasonably priced car.

Subscriptions And A Seamless Buying Experience

Over and above all the news about interior materials made from recycled blue jeans, one thing that stands out in the Volvo press release is how the company wants to make driving an EX30 simple and painless. Volvo says it will offer its Our Care by Volvo subscription service that will allow customers to see their monthly cost at a glance without hidden fees or extra charges.

“With subscriptions for the EX30 starting at EUR 599 per month, we strongly believe this car will be an attractive choice for many customers — not just for our existing customers but also to those who are new to the Volvo brand,” says Björn Annwall, chief commercial officer and deputy CEO. “That will allow us to create new customer relationships and boost customer retention over time.”

The company says it is focused on developing a simple, intuitive, and smooth buying process online at Transparent online pricing without hidden fees, as well as an easy-to-understand offer, will make ordering a new Volvo EX30 a breeze.

That online sales process reflects Volvo’s ambition of creating the best possible customer experience, seamlessly merging online and offline channels. Regardless of whether a customer visits a Volvo store or one of its urban studios, shops online, or uses the Volvo Cars app, the company believes everyone should get the same outstanding and meaningful experience.

The Bottom Line

The story behind the story here is the Volvo EX30 will be manufactured at the Geely factory in Zhangjiakou, China. That raises a few important points. One, the EX30 will not be eligible for any US federal tax credits of incentives, and yet it will sell in the US from almost $20,000 less than the company’s XC40 Recharge.

Two, it is the harbinger of what will one day be a tidal wave of Chinese made cars heading to American shores. Three, if Volvo can import the EX30 and equip it with advanced features like lidar, pay the import duty, and still sell it for $34,995, that illustrates how much less the cost of manufacturing is in China. Orders are open for European customers, and North American customers can place pre-orders for an EX30 now as well. Deliveries should begin early next year.

In the final analysis, the EX30 is a Volvo, with all that name implies. Customers can expect it to be beautifully made with all the legendary concerns for safety Volvo is famous for. It is not the least expensive electric SUV but it will clearly be one of the best. Volvo plans to be selling only electric cars by 2030 and expects the EX30 to be one of its best selling models. For this price and with those features, there is no reason that shouldn’t happen.

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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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