If you’re hankering for an all-electric Volvo EX40, but thought it just too big, Volvo has your ticket: the EX30. The company is expected to reveal its newest battery-electric crossover utility vehicle in about a month on June 7, and open ordering for those who must have the latest in Swedish transport.
We would be happy to tell you more, but Volvo hasn’t told us anything yet. In fact, the only photo we could lay our hands on was their teaser photo, which shows a box that boasts a design that no doubt could have been the inspiration for the 1982-92 Volvo 740.
Why it’s needed
The EX30 will be the smallest Volvo since the Reagan administration, when it built the Volvo 480 hatchback, a darling little Swedish hatchback never imported here. But the new EX30 is sure to bolster sales at the lower end of its premium vehicle line-up.
After all, the reality is that while there are many automakers competing in the premium market, it’s the lower-end luxury models that often prove most popular. Lincoln’s most popular ride? The Corsair. Genesis? The GV70.
But that’s not the case for Volvo, where the XC40 comes in third at 18,558 units behind the second place XC90 at 34,101 units and the first place XC60 at 36,181 units. Only the XC40’s fastback cousin, the C40 at 3,780 units, is less popular. But both the XC40 and C40 come in Recharge trim, Volvo’s name for battery-electric rechargeable vehicles, so the new model should help fortify Volvo’s growing EV portfolio. But, unlike the XC40 that’s offered as a hybrid, the XC30 will be offered solely as a battery-electric crossover — or so it’s implied by Volvo PR.
And while the XC30’s name suggests that this affordable premium battery-electric vehicle could sell boatloads, keep in mind that its corporate cousin, the battery-electric Polestar 2, sold only 718 copies last year. And so it seems unlikely to expect to see a flood of XC30s, although Volvo’s name may mean more to American consumers than new kid on the block Polestar.
But the EX30 may not be the only pure EV in the Volvo line-up come 2024. Volvo has also stated it’s releasing an EX90 flagship SUV for 2024, part of the company’s plan to eliminate internal combustion technology — including plug-in hybrids — by 2030.
Safety is still important
Volvo is hinting that its EX30 will have a host of safety features. While Volvo hasn’t revealed what they are, they may follow that of the forthcoming EX90, which will feature lidar that can see as far as 800 feet down the road to warn of any impending emergency, or about 7.5 seconds when driving at 60 mph. It works in concert with 16 radar sensors, eight ultrasonics and five cameras to keep the car’s occupants safe.
While it’s not yet known how much of this system will be used on the XC30, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if a scaled-down version would be offered. And don’t be surprised if, like the XC40 and C40, the XC30 is fitted with twin cameras inside the cabin to monitor driver behavior. After all, Sweden is a country where citizens generally follow rules.
But should be answered soon, as Volvo rolls out the XC30. Stay tuned.
But one thing the Volvo won’t be is an Infiniti. Nissan’s premium brand made a small crossover called the EX35 from 2008 through 2014. No one remembers it of course, save Infiniti, auto journalists and (former) owners.