Volvo’s EX30 sets a new standard in the electric vehicle world with its compact yet environmentally conscious design. Is it the brand’s most coveted car yet?
The Volvo EX30 represents a significant milestone for the Swedish automaker. As Volvo embraces its role as an electric vehicle pioneer, the EX30, touted as a ‘starter EV,’ marks the brand’s smallest offering in the market. It’s also a departure from the iconic saloon and estate cars that defined Volvo’s legacy in the 1960s and 1970s.
Volvo’s transformation from a safety-focused national treasure into a global EV powerhouse is made possible by its parent company, Geely. Geely, a Chinese automotive giant with brands like Polestar, Lynk & Co, Zeekr, Proton, and Lotus under its umbrella, excels in cross-platform engineering. They collaborate with various design studios to create innovative and unique EVs.
The ‘little’ Volvo sports a characterful and rugged appearance, featuring a diagonal grille that now serves as a stylish slash across the front. The design incorporates pronounced lines and creases, balancing dark low trim with painted panels to create a visually compact look.
This approach significantly reduces the carbon footprint in the manufacturing process, reflecting Volvo’s commitment to environmental sustainability. While achieving a net-zero carbon footprint remains a challenge, the EX30 is designed to have the smallest lifecycle CO2 footprint of any Volvo car to date, with a total carbon footprint of fewer than 30 tons over 200,000 kilometers of driving.
The cabin of the EX30 is dominated by a central screen with minimal physical buttons. The 12.3-inch screen is powered by Google, providing a seamless and user-friendly experience. Safety features, including collision avoidance and Volvo’s Pilot Assist tech, are integrated to ensure a secure and comfortable driving experience.
While the electric compact SUV segment is crowded, the EX30 manages to stand out with its blend of minimalist aesthetics and practical functionality. What’s more, it surprises with a sportier performance than expected.
Of these brands, only Volvo and Lotus have historical legacies to draw upon and translate into the modern market. While Lotus has ventured into luxury SUVs and saloons, Volvo has shifted its focus from boxy estate cars to crossovers and SUVs.
Inside, there’s a renewed emphasis on innovative materials, depending on the trim and model. These include woven flax for the dashboard and doors or upcycled denim fibers and recycled plastic waste from old UPVC window frames. Seats can be upholstered in a tailored wool blend or Nordico, a bio-attributed material partially made from pine oil sourced from Finland and Sweden. The carpets are made from 100% recycled PET bottles, and 25% of the bodywork consists of recycled aluminum, all while maintaining top-notch safety standards.
The high-end twin motor model of the EX30 offers remarkable speed, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds, making it the fastest accelerating Volvo in history. The range is impressive, and charging is relatively fast. The EX30 delivers a smooth and agile driving experience, making it a compelling choice, even for driving enthusiasts.
Notable features include the Harman Kardon Premium Sound system, ample storage, and a size guide for fitting cargo inside the rear tailgate.
Currently manufactured in Zhangjiakou, China, Volvo plans to start production in Belgium alongside the XC40 and C40 models. An EX30 Cross Country variant is also in the pipeline, maintaining Volvo’s tradition of rugged, off-road-focused versions of its key models.
Experience the Volvo EX30, starting at €38,969 with the Twin Motor Performance ‘Ultra’ model available from €51,307.