Volvo launched its first-ever minivan earlier this week. Dubbed the EM90, this is an electric (“E”) minivan (or “MPV,” for the “M”) designed to sit at the top of the Swedish brand’s model lineup in China with an advanced, Google-based infotainment system, luxurious interior appointments, and a staggering $114,000 price tag.
“The EM90 demonstrates our strong abilities to innovate and meet specific market demands,” reads the official copy from Volvo’s press team. “The multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment has gained considerable popularity in recent years, especially in many parts of Asia. This is one of the main reasons why the EM90 is coming first to China, the world’s largest car market.”
Volvo EM90 Exterior
Minivans in China aren’t like minivans in the US. Instead of large family trucksters littered with juice boxes and desiccated French fries, minivans (or “MPVs,” to use the foreign term) are used as high-end executive transport, with heated/cooled massaging and power reclining seats common options for well-heeled Chinese buyers who are driving in, rather than driving their vans. That’s why the EM90’s interior appointments seem to have more in common with a private jet than the minivans that used to shuttle you and me to soccer practice when we were kids.
Volvo, for its part, seems eager to avoid seeming like it’s built this premium-priced luxury hauler primarily for the Chinese market, slipping in references to the EM90 as a people-mover into their PR. Even there, however, they’re quick to reiterate the executive cruise missile angle. “When the car is not used for family trips,” reads the release, “it doubles as executive business transport that offers the ultimate comfortable interior environment for meetings and business calls. In short, for customers looking for safety and a spacious, versatile, and comfortable premium experience on the move, the EM90 is an exciting new option for them.”
Since Volvo themselves don’t seem able to sell this as anything less than a luxurious office extension, let’s take a look at that interior and see for ourselves what life is like in the EM90.
Volvo EM90 Interior
“With the EM90, we’re taking Volvo Cars’ heritage and leadership in safety into the exciting new electric MPV segment,” says Jim Rowan, chief executive at Volvo Cars. “It allows us to tap new market demand we’ve not explored before and broadens the appeal of the Volvo brand to more people.”
While, admittedly, a Volvo-branded minivan that promised traditional levels of Volvo safety would have been a welcome addition to our personal fleet of vehicles a few years back, I’d need the price to creep back down below $60K before I could even really consider it — but that’s just me, and maybe we’ll get a stripped-down version in the US somewhat sooner than later.
The first-ever Volvo MPV promises 450 miles (738 km) of electric range on the CTLC cycle, using the same battery as the upcoming EX90 SUV.
Source | Images: Volvo Cars.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book
Our Latest EVObsession Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.