Earlier today, Volvo announced an all-new compact electric SUV which the company says they will begin manufacturing in China as early as this year. The Volvo EX30 will offer a range of up to 275 miles, a 0-60 time of just under 3.4 seconds in its sportiest “Twin Motor Performance” trim and a starting price of under $35,000 (36,000 euros). Customers in the United States can pre-order the EX30 now with a refundable deposit of $500 and will be invited to configure their cars this fall with deliveries expected to begin in the Summer of 2024.
While the EX30 is significantly more compact than the Tesla Model Y, it is also much more affordable. Tesla’s prices have been a bit of a moving target lately, but the starting price of the Model Y as of June 2023 is currently around $48,000 compared to the EX30’s starting price of $35,000. Of course, this is a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison as the “entry-level” Model Y offers a range of 279 miles (compared to about 200-210 miles on the entry level EX30) more power, and much more space for passengers and gear (76 cubic feet of storage vs. the EX30’s 31.9 cubic feet).
The Tesla also offers more advanced driver assistance technology and a much more extensive high speed charging network. Also, unfortunately for Volvo, none of the company’s EVs or plug-in hybrids qualify for all or even part of the tax credit in the United States while all versions of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y cars qualify for the full $7,500 incentive for eligible buyers. This brings the cost of the larger, more powerful, longer range Model Y closer to the Volvo for most American buyers. But car buyers like choices, and the Volvo EX30 should provide a lot for compact car buyers to love.
The Path to Pure Electric
Volvo plans to be all-electric by 2030 and the EX30, which the company describes as a “small premium SUV,” should help them to get there. The starting price of $34,950 makes it much cheaper than the company’s most affordable current EV, the XC40 Recharge ($55,300). It’s actually even less expensive than Volvo’s most affordable gas-powered variation of the XC40 ($37,445). The company says that the EX30 is capable of 153 kW fast charging and can charge fully from 10-80% in a little under 26.5 minutes.
The EX30 will be offered with two battery options: a 51-kWh lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) pack with estimated range of about 200-210 miles and a 69-kWh nickel-cobalt-manganese (NMC) option with up to 275 miles of range. It’s unclear today (launch day) whether the lower capacity battery version will be offered in all markets. Volvo’s US web site currently only lists the long range version on its pre-order page. That larger battery version will be available with two motor options. The Single Motor Extended Range EX30 offers rear-wheel-drive with 268 horsepower, 253 lb-ft of torque, a 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds and an estimated range of 275 miles. Meanwhile, the beefier EX30 Twin Motor Performance version includes dual motor all-wheel-drive, 422 hp, 400 lb-ft, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds with an estimated range of 265 miles. This acceleration puts it right up there with the Model 3 and Model Y Performance versions.
Volvo says it will offer a more rugged “Cross Country” variant of the EX30 with increased ground clearance, 19-inch wheels (with the option for 18-inch wheels) and front, rear and side skid plates. Pricing/availability details of the Cross Country version are not yet available.
Taking a page from Tesla’s playbook, the EX30’s minimalist interior is centered around a large 12.3″ touch screen which puts essential driver information front and center and enables touch control of common features and settings. Unlike the Model 3 and Y, the EX30’s screen is oriented vertically (portrait mode).
With its low price, rich feature set and unique styling, the Volvo EX30 should offer a compelling option for EV buyers in 2024 and beyond.
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