Early last year, Volvo announced that it will only sell fully electric cars by 2030 and phase out any car in its global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids. For those who have followed the brand, this commitment wouldn’t have come as either surprising or farfetched. Environmental care was added as a corporate core value of the Volvo brand way back in 1972 when the Swedish automaker acknowledged that its products had a negative ecological impact and pledged to do something about it. The brand has since made incremental contributions towards greener mobility, including the introduction in 1976 of a three-way catalytic converter as an effective system for reducing exhaust emissions. The company’s transition towards becoming a fully electric car maker is part of this longstanding climate strategy that seeks to consistently cut the life cycle carbon footprint per car.
The XC40 Recharge, launched in 2020, was Volvo’s first all-electric model, but it was based on the petrol-powered XC40. However, the EX90, revealed this month in Stockholm, is built on an entirely new, dedicated EV platform. And rather than test the waters with smaller models first, Volvo has taken the plunge with a full-size seven-seater flagship SUV as the first of its all-new EV fleet. And it will form the template for every new EV Volvo plans to reveal each year from now until 2030.
The exterior design builds on the lines previewed by the Concept Recharge, with a more SUV-like silhouette and dimensions that are similar to the current flagship, the XC90. Volvo says the EX90’s in-house-developed fully electric technology base allows for a more sustainable family lifestyle. It boasts 373 miles (600 kilometres) of tailpipe-emission-free driving range on a single charge and is equipped with fast charging that juices up from 10 to 80 per cent battery capacity in under half an hour. The twin-motor all-wheel-drive version is powered by a 111kWh battery and two permanent magnet electric motors delivering an output of 380kW (517hp) and 910Nm of torque. Sustainability is not limited to the drivetrain, as the EX90 contains approximately 15 per cent of recycled steel, 25 per cent of recycled aluminium as well as 48 kilogrammes of recycled plastics and bio-based materials. It also features technology that can enable bi-directional charging, whereby you can use your car battery as an extra energy supply, to power your home, other electric devices or another electric Volvo car.
As you would expect from a flagship Volvo, the EX90 comes packed with hi-tech safety features that learn from their surroundings and apparently get smarter and safer over time. The “invisible shield of safety” uses a combination of cameras, radars and lidar connected to the car’s core computers, and intervenes if it feels driver input is inadequate for a given situation. If the system sees that the driver is distracted, drowsy or inattentive, it will alert you in varying degrees, and will even stop the car by itself and call for help if the driver falls asleep or is incapacitated.
The EX90 can be pre-ordered now, but global deliveries aren’t expected to begin before early 2024.