In stark contrast to Volvo’s recently unveiled ultra-compact EX30, the brand has introduced the Volvo EM90, positioned at the opposite end of the size spectrum. Marketed as a ‘premium MPV,’ it’s more than a mere mode of transportation; it’s a ‘space for living on the move.’ This fully electric vehicle shares its platform with the Zeekr 009 MPV, another Geely sub-brand making waves in Europe.
Volvo’s CEO, Jim Rowan, describes the EM90 as a premium experience that evokes domesticity and security, referring to it as a ‘place to connect with your loved ones, to truly be yourself.’ This feeling of home inspired the EM90, promoting a lifestyle that goes beyond ordinary transportation.
Pitched as more than just an electric MPV, the EM90 benefits from China’s lenient official range test, boasting up to 738 kilometers (458 miles) on a single charge—nearly twice the capability of the EX30. This is attributed to a larger battery (116 kWh), enabling the EM90 to reach 100 km/h in around 8.3 seconds.
Like all Volvos, the new MPV offers a plethora of driver-assistance systems, equipped with cameras and radars to monitor the surroundings. Air suspension enhances ride quality, crucial for its role as an upmarket limo. The large cabin, featuring 21 speakers by audio partner Bowers & Wilkins, transforms into a movie theatre for rear passengers, complete with customizable lighting, sound, and a drop-down screen.
The boxy six-seater has been exclusively launched in China, underscoring the continued significance of chauffeured car culture in the People’s Republic and the design diversity permitted by this vast market, moving beyond the relentless emphasis on SUVs.
The EV platform enables a spacious interior with six full-size seats, including individual airline-style seats in the second row, and a wealth of screen-based technology, featuring a ceiling-mounted screen and door-mounted temperature controls and displays.
While the exterior adheres to Volvo’s design language, the proportions mark a distinct change. The EM90 is upright and boxy, reminiscent of older Volvo models, with a snub-nosed bonnet and tall sides. Elements like sliding doors for rear seat access contribute to an old-school minivan culture, aligning with the car’s multifunctional approach.
With its Chinese parent company’s commitment to preserving Volvo’s Scandinavian roots, the carmaker now sells approximately 25 percent of its output in China, driven by an increasingly upscale, design-led image. Volvo’s pronounced EV focus aligns with the significant growth of EVs in the Chinese car market. While the EM90’s release in Western markets remains uncertain, the electric MPV market’s potential growth suggests a demand for spacious, practical vehicles catering to everyday needs beyond off-road excursions.