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Volvo ‘thinks small’ with new EX30 SUV

Teaser image shows Swedish brand’s smallest electric SUV ahead of June 7 launch

10 May 2023

A MYSTERIOUS teaser image and video have been used to announce that Volvo is set to reveal its newest and smallest electric SUV model from next month.


To be plated as the EX30, the BMW iX1 rival will sit beneath the C40 and XC40 Recharge in terms of size and positioning, riding on a more compact version of the Swedish marque’s SPA2 (Scalable Platform Architecture 2) EV platform and sharing very familiar styling – both outside and in – to the remainder of the Volvo SUV range.


Speaking to GoAuto earlier this year, Volvo CEO, Jim Rowan, said the entry model is aimed to appeal to younger ‘Gen Z’ buyers as a means of attracting fresh faces to the brand. More details – and pre-orders – for the EX30 will be made available in selected markets from June 7.


In the release published this week, Volvo said of the model, “thinking small is one of our big ideas”, hinting that the five-seat SUV will target rivals including the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Polestar 3 and Tesla Model Y.


Volvo has yet to announce specification or range details for the EX30, but its platform origins do deliver some clues…


The SPA2 chassis already underpins several Volvo and sibling brand models, including existing and forthcoming vehicles, including those from Geely, Lotus, Lynk & Co, Polestar and Smart.


It has been rumoured the EX30 will be produced largely from aluminium components in a bid to keep weight as low as possible and feature a lithium iron phosphate battery making it cheaper to build – one of the key elements of Mr Rowan’s plans for greater EV acceptance.


“There are four friction factors that will slow the adoption to full electricity, and those will be different in different parts of the world. Three of these we can control, and one I don’t think we can,” Mr Rowan told GoAuto earlier this year.


“Range anxiety is one of these points, and it’s a little bit weird in that you can have a car that can travel 500km but still not feel that you are going to get the same 500km that you would from a petrol tank; that is really a mindset issue.


“What that really comes down to is infrastructure. A car may offer 500km of range, but where am I going to charge it the next time? I know where all the petrol stations are, so I feel comfortable. But I don’t know where I can get that next charge. So, range is one of them (friction factors).


“Charging speed is another one. The move towards an 800-volt system has helped massively with that, I mean we’re now seeing customers able to put 180km of range into their cars in about six or seven minutes.


“Cost is the third point. Of course, right now the Ukrainian war has pushed up prices, especially lithium which has stayed stubbornly higher … Nickel and cobalt have normalised, but lithium is still high. There are new mines coming online, so we should soon see lithium prices start to normalise.


“And some countries have leaned-in on subsidies, for example, to help the adoption of EVs, and that has been quite good. But frankly, no company should have to rely on any government’s subsidies to be successful – the minute you start leaning on that as a way towards selling your products you have missed the point.


“We think we (Volvo) can be at ICE parity by 2025. We will be able to build and sell an ICE car or a BEV car with the same range. In fact, ICE cars will probably go down in price because it will become older technology.”


“The last friction point – and the one we can’t control – is obviously infrastructure. We don’t think we should be investing in infrastructure, because it is not the core of our business,” said Mr Rowan, suggesting governments and independent suppliers need to take the reins on that front.


Volvo will sell only electric vehicles in Australia from 2026.

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