Update: Leaked official image of the Volvo EX30 added to the ‘Design’ section.
On June 7, 2023, Volvo Cars will unveil an electric SUV smaller than its 40 Series EVs – the Volvo EX30. The company has confirmed it will offer the EX30 in the U.S. Here are all the details we have about the next Volvo electric car.
Håkan Samuelsson, former President and CEO, Volvo Cars, talked about the design of the upcoming small SUV on the sidelines of the Volvo C40 launch in March 2021. The entry-model would be “more streamlined” but still be “high”, because “people really are fond of high seating positions,” Volvo’s former chief explained. It wouldn’t be as squarish as current Volvo SUVs and will have a softer roofline, aiding the aerodynamics that would improve the range.
Patent images have since revealed the exterior of the Volvo EX30. The front and rear fascias are heavily influenced by the Volvo EX90, evident from the headlamps and rear combination lamps. The headlamps could be the Ultimate Thor’s Hammer units, which are DRLs that roll up and slide back to theatrically present the main lights.
The nose section features a smooth, closed panel while the lower front fascia houses a slim and wide air intake. While the EX90 features ice-cube-shaped LED fog lights stacked vertically below the T-shaped, Thor’s Hammer-like headlamps, the EX30 appears to have a vertical air inlet in that area.
Volvo Cars has unintentionally revealed the side profile of the EX30 through a picture on its Swedish consumer website, which was captured by a reader before it was taken down. The EX30 bears a clear resemblance to the XC40 Recharge from this angle, with its squarish windows, sharp kick in the beltline on the rear doors, and concave surface in the lower area of the door panels. However, there are subtle differences that set it apart. The side mirrors have a sleeker design, the beltline has a curvier rise, and the roofline features a more dynamic slope.
The pronounced wheel arches, muscular shoulder section, and large wheels give the EX30 a powerful stance. The wheels carry a funky design and a two-tone black and silver finish. The charging port is located right under a flap on the rear left-side wall of the EV.
The SUV’s hunched rear-end gives it a sporty and compact appearance. Its combination lamps feature a vertical stripe on either side of the glass along with C-shaped lights, similar to the EX90. The future entry-level SUV’s combination lamps have an additional connecting strip at the bottom that is not present in the flagship model. It is likely that both upper connecting strips are reflectors.
As for the interior, we expect Scandinavian vibes with a deep focus on functionality and minimalism. Volvo Cars may extensively use recycled, sustainably sourced materials. Another key feature we expect is a digital instrument cluster with customizable layouts, most likely measuring 12.3 inches diagonally.
Spy media indicates the Volvo EX30’s interior will have more or less the same design and layout as the EX90. We can already see that the gear selector is the same steering column stalk, integrating the electronic parking brake on the side. Similarly, the touchscreen of the infotainment system looks like a big floating tablet. It probably measures the same, too – 15 inches.
An Android Automotive OS-based touchscreen infotainment system should pack all the essential Google apps and services, including Play Store, Google Maps, and Google Voice. If not, Geely’s ECARX in-car technology is an option for the baby crossover.
The seats of the test mule probably have wool blend upholstery, which could be an optional feature. The standard seat upholstery could be Nordico, created from textiles consisting of recycled material such as PET bottles, as well as bio-attributed material from responsibly-managed Swedish and Finnish forests. It’s noteworthy that Volvo Cars is going leather-free.
On May 24, 2023, Volvo Cars revealed additional information highlighting the sustainability features of the EX30. The company said it has used recycled and renewable materials for the EV’s dashboard, seats, and doors. These include denim, flax, and a wool blend that contains approximately 70% recycled polyester. By repurposing fibers that would have otherwise gone to waste during the denim recycling process, Volvo Cars has found an innovative way to incorporate them into the car’s interior decor. About 17% of the EV’s plastics (incl. the plastics used for the exterior) are recycled, and that’s the highest percentage in any Volvo model to date.
Safe Space Technology
The Volvo EX30 will have a raft of safety features as part of what Volvo Cars calls Safe Space Technology. One of these will be Door Opening Alert, aimed at increasing safety for cyclists. It will warn the occupant opening the vehicle’s door if there’s a cyclist or other traffic user approaching from behind who could get hurt by it.
A new Advanced Driver Alert System will be standard. In addition to checking whether the driver has their hands on the steering wheel, this system will detect their eye and face movements, at the rate of around 13 times per second. A new Intersection Auto Brake feature will stop the car to mitigate or avoid a collision when another car crosses the EX30’s path in front unexpectedly.
There’ll be plenty of passive safety features, too. A far-side airbag on the inside of the driver’s seat, has been developed to protect the driver from head and thorax injuries in the case of a side impact.
Volvo EX30 to ride on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture
The Volvo EX30 was first reported by Auto Express in 2021. At the 2020 Beijing Auto Show, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group unveiled the Lynk & Co Zero Concept. The electric SUV concept is underpinned by a new platform called ‘Sustainable Experience Architecture’. The Chinese conglomerate owns the Volvo Car Group which controls the Volvo and Polestar brands.
During the discussion with Auto Express, Samuelsson revealed that the Volvo EX30 could be an all-electric model and off-road capability might not be a focal point. He spoke to the British auto publication about leveraging the parent company’s new architecture. “We’ll also use SEA,” Samuelsson said. Explaining why Volvo Car Group is looking at SEA instead of CMA for the potential Volvo EX30, Samuelsson said it’s difficult to manufacture a smaller product, which would need to be cheaper, without the necessary cost and scale.
Kent Bovellan, the Chief Engineer for the SEA Architecture, discussed the SEA platform with Malaysian media in 2021, as per reported by Paultan. Bovellan revealed that SEA will have five versions spread across vehicle segments:
- SEA1 – D-segment (mid-size vehicles), E-segment (executive vehicles), and F-segment (full-size vehicles)
- SEA2 – B-segment (sub-compact vehicles), C-segment (compact vehicles), D-segment (mid-size vehicles)
- SEA Entry (SEA-E) – A-segment (city cars) and budget vehicles
- SEA Sport (SEA-S) – Sporty vehicles
- SEA Commercial (SEA-C) – Commercial vehicles weighing 3.5-5.5 tonnes
The EX30 could ride on the SEA2 platform, which spawned the smart #01 electric SUV, another B-segment model, in April 2022. smart is Mercedes and Geely’s urban mobility brand. Automakers can use the SEA2 platform to develop EVs with a wheelbase ranging between 2,650 and 2,900 mm.
Where the CMA’s development took place in Sweden, the SEA was developed in China for the local market where volumes are higher for EVs. Thus, there are significant savings involved in the new platform, with the former Volvo Car Group boss saying Chinese suppliers allow “a very good cost structure.”
The Volvo EX30 will be the smallest SUV the Volvo Cars has ever built, Rowan said in an interview with Bloomberg in March 2023. However, thanks to the SEA platform, we think it will have excellent space packaging. It should be much more spacious than, say, the upcoming Alfa Romeo 966 EV (Jeep Avenger Electric sibling), which should be a close competitor. In addition to providing additional storage space in the center console area, the flat floor should also allow passengers in the rear of the Volvo to sit more comfortably.
Volvo Cars will offer the EX30 with a 51 kWh LFP battery pack and a 69 kWh NCM battery pack, Anders Nyth, the manager of Volvo Cars’ sustainability center has said, as per a report Autocar released on May 24, 2023. Rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be the layout choices. The most range-focused configuration, which will have the 69 kWh NCM battery pack and a RWD drivetrain layout (and thus just one motor in this case), will deliver a WLTP range of up to 298 miles.
According to a report Auto Express published on February 2, 2023, the EX30 RWD will have one motor producing 268 hp and the EX30 AWD will have two motors generating 420 hp (combined). The peak charging power could be 150 kW (with direct current), which would mean a 10-80% charging session would take less than 30 minutes.
Volvo EX30 Release Date
Volvo Cars plans to start accepting EX30 reservations in the U.S. on June 7, 2023. It will likely launch the new EV in the country in late 2023. During Volvo Cars’ Q1 2023 earnings conference call on April 27, 2023, Rowan said the company’s upcoming electric SUV is on schedule:
We’re on track to launch our new small fully-electric SUV.Jim Rowan, President and CEO, Volvo Cars (Q1 2023 earnings conference call on April 27, 2023)
Rowan said Volvo Cars will announce the new entry-level SUV “very shortly” and that the launch of this model will mark the brand’s entry into a new lower segment. The company is anticipating big volumes from the electric small SUV.
We’ll announce our small SUV very shortly. That’s going to take us into a lower price point than we’ve ever been in for an SUV before – a smaller size as well as a smaller segment. And by and large we’re gonna talk I think to quite a different demographic. So, we see the addition of the small SUV as being completely non-cannibalistic towards our existing customer base.Jim Rowan, President and CEO, Volvo Cars (Q1 2023 earnings conference call on April 27, 2023)
Rowan didn’t give an estimate about the EX30’s price during the Q1 2023 earnings conference call. Asked whether Volvo Cars’ entry point ever come back to below GBP 30,000 during Volvo Car Group’s Q2 2022 earnings conference call on July 20, 2022, he said:
We’ve said it already. So we have the new electric version of our current XC90 product, which we’ll launch in the fourth quarter of this year. We’ve also said that we’ll be launching a smaller SUV next year, so in 2023, and that’s a really important part of our product line-up because that gives us then the smaller SUV, the 40, the C40, then obviously the 90, and then of course eventually the fully electric replacement for the 60 as well.Jim Rowan, President and CEO, Volvo Cars (Volvo Car Group Q2 2022 earnings conference call on July 20, 2022)
Rowan confirmed during Volvo Car Group’s Q2 2022 earnings conference call that the new Volvo EX30 will be available on a subscription basis.
When you offer subscription-based ownership on a lower-priced but still premium product, you can reach a much younger demographic. And remember, Gen Z is coming in now to own the buy books, so they’re coming into first time buyers. We think with that combination of a lower-priced, premium product, which we’ll release next year, as well as consumer base below that age, then we’ll bring in that new demographic maybe for the first time in a long time to Volvo as a customer.Jim Rowan, President and CEO, Volvo Cars (Volvo Car Group Q2 2022 earnings conference call on July 20, 2022)
He expects the alternative ownership option to bring new, younger customers to the brand. Speaking to Automotive News Europe, the CEO suggested that 18 and 19-year-old Gen Z people will be the target customers.
During Volvo Cars’ Q4 2022 and CY2022 earnings conference call on February 9, 2023, Rowan revealed that production of this model will begin by the end of 2023.
He said that the full effect of the new additions (EX90 and EX30) won’t be felt by the business until 2024. “Both of them, the combined effect will be small in 2023, but as we pour into 2024, then we’ll have two brand new cars, and the nice thing for that really is we top and tail the range,” he said, when speaking about the contribution of the EX90 and EX30 in the 2023 financial results.
During the Volvo Car Group half-year 2021 financial results presentation, Samuelsson had indicated that the manufacturing of the Volvo EX30 would take place in China.
Regarding timing, we’ve said the next new electric car is really the successor of our SUV flagship. That’s the first one; after that, there will be a smaller SUV, and that’s what we’re talking about here. It’s very likely it will be made in China, yes.Håkan Samuelsson, former President and CEO, Volvo Car Group (Volvo Car Group half-year financial results, 2021)
Competitors & strategy
The EX30 will be a “big part” of the company’s targeted 1.2 million annual sales volume, which it expects to achieve by 2025, Rowan told Automotive News Europe. The company will be able to reach a new price demographic with this model, he added.
The Volvo EX30 may arrive as an online-only model, like the C40 Recharge. Customers would get to view the vehicle in person at a dealership and take a test drive, but the order process may take place exclusively online.
The list of competitors would include the upcoming MINI Aceman and the smart #1. If it goes as planned, Volvo’s electric vehicles will account for 50% of global sales from no later than 2025, for the Swedish brand. By 2030, that number would change to 100% as the company will stop selling thermal-engined vehicles at the end of the decade.
The EX30 could be a decent choice for young customers in urban areas, including new drivers, looking for a premium SUV that’s safe, sustainable, and stylish, and offers many advanced technologies for connectivity, comfort, and convenience, for an affordable monthly payment.
Volvo EX30 FAQs
What is the Volvo EX30 release date?
The Volvo EX30 is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships in late 2023.
What would be the Volvo EX30 rivals?
The Volvo EX30 would rival cars like the Mercedes EQA, MINI Aceman and the smart #1.
What is the expected range of the Volvo EX30?
The estimated WLTP range for the EX30 is about 250 miles.
Featured Image Source: Allt om Elbil