All-electric Volvo EX30 hits public roads ahead of June reveal

The EX30 showcases the firm’s updated design language with new headlights

Jeep Avenger rival will champion car subscriptions in a bid to ‘talk to’ new, younger customers

The new all-electric Volvo EX30 has been spotted testing on public roads for the first time, ahead of its official unveiling next month. 

Sporting a combination of a lightweight disguise and a camouflage livery, enough of the EX30 was on display to showcase the firm’s updated design language. 

Most prominently, the EX30 prototype showcased Volvo’s new headlight design, which takes a modernised, narrow shape for the first time. 

The EX30 will be the firm’s new entry-level electric car and will be fully revealed on 7 June. The compact crossover will enter the market later this year as the firm’s smallest production model yet. It has been designed around the subscription ownership model in a bid to help the firm win over a younger audience.

With sales set to kick off in November, the EX30 will sit below the existing Volvo XC40 Recharge in the firm’s growing line-up of electric SUVs, which is now headed by the recently revealed EX90

The Jeep Avenger rival will champion the subscription ownership model to make it more affordable to Generation Z buyers – people born between the late 1990s and early 2000s – according to Volvo CEO Jim Rowan. 

He added that subscriptions allow the brand to “talk to new customers”, having previously said Volvo “has never really spoken to that young demographic”. 

Volvo said: “It’s a car that will be crucial to our strategic ambitions in shaping the future of mobility and becoming a fully electric car maker by 2030.”

Autocar recently reported that the company will ensure monthly payments are set at a “reasonably low cost”.

The new model will use a modified version of parent Geely’s SEA architecture. At the launch, Rowan hinted that the compact model will be aimed at “city driving for first-time buyers”.

With the EX30 sitting firmly in one of the fastest-growing segments, it will be key to Volvo achieving its target of selling 1.2 million cars annually by the middle of the decade, with half of those fully electric models. 

Although the preview images confirm the model will retain traditional Volvo cues, it will feature bolder styling elements to help win over a younger audience. Much like the EX90, it will take the form of a higher-riding crossover but with sleeker bodywork to maximise the aerodynamic efficiency. It is also possible the model could eventually spawn a coupé-SUV offshoot similar to the C40 Recharge. 

Speaking at February’s EX90 launch, Volvo design chief Robin Page said the firm will “start evolving” its design language with the EX30 and future models. 

He said: “You’ll still recognise it as a Volvo and there are elements of the EX90 we’ll bring into future products. But with a smaller car, you can play around more with different things. You’ve got a bit more of a spectrum to play with colour, materials and the general expression.” 

The SEA architecture is currently used by the Smart #1 and a number of electric models from Geely’s China-only Zeekr brand. It is offered in various forms for vehicles of different lengths and can accept rear-drive single-motor and all-wheel-drive twin-motor powertrains. At launch, the Smart #1 offers 268bhp in standard form and 422bhp for a twin-motor range-topper. 

The platform can accommodate a wide range of battery sizes, although the urban focus of the new model means it is likely to feature a relatively modest unit to keep the size, weight and cost down. The 68kWh pack in the Smart #1 gives a range of 260-270 miles, which is likely to be considered sufficient for the Volvo SUV’s intended buyers. 

The new crossover is expected to advance Volvo’s efforts to use more sustainable and recycled materials in its models, especially as sustainability is a priority for the younger, Gen Z audience. 

The SEA platform has a high level of connectivity built into it and offers over-the-air software updates. It is likely that Volvo will offer features on demand and other services through its app.

Additional reporting by Will Rimell


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Smart #1

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Zeekr 001

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Source: Autocar

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