Volvo EX30 targets first-time car buyers at “reasonably low cost”

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Volvo’s new ‘EX30’ compact EV will launch this year and target a new type of demographic for the brand.

Volvo is set to launch a new electric-only compact crossover tipped to be called the EX30. The model will feature bold new design elements and technology in a bid to help the Swedish car maker win over a younger audience.

Set to be revealed this year before sales kick off in October, the EX30 is likely to rival the Mercedes-Benz EQA and will sit below the existing Volvo XC40 Recharge and Volvo C40 models in the firm’s growing line-up of electric SUVs. It is expected to be twinned with the Polestar 4 and will use a modified version of parent Geely’s SEA architecture.

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Volvo previewed the new crossover at the launch of the EX90 large SUV last month but it has yet to be drawn on a name or specific details. The firm has registered ‘EX30’ and that would fit with the model’s likely place in Volvo’s line-up.

At the launch of the EX90, company boss Jim Rowan hinted that the model will be aimed at “city driving for first-time buyers”. He specifically cited the need to appeal to Gen Z – people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s – and said the brand “has never really spoken to that young demographic. We are absolutely heading in that direction.”

With the model sitting firmly in one of the fastest-growing segments, it will be key to Volvo’s target of selling 1.2 million cars annually by the middle of the decade, with half of those fully electric models.

Although the official preview image confirms the model will retain traditional Volvo cues, it will feature bolder styling elements to help win over a younger audience. Much like the EX90, it will take the form of a higher-riding crossover but with sleeker bodywork to maximise the aerodynamic efficiency. It is also possible the model could eventually spawn an SUV-coupe offshoot similar to the C40.

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At the EX90 launch, Volvo design chief Robin Page said the firm will “start evolving” its design language with the EX30 and future models.

He said: “You’ll still recognise it as a Volvo and there are elements of the EX90 we’ll bring into future products. But with a smaller car, you can play around more with different things. You’ve got a bit more of a spectrum to play with colour, materials and the general expression.”

The SEA architecture is currently used by the Smart #1 and a number of electric models from Geely’s China-only Zeekr brand. It is offered in various forms for vehicles of different lengths and can accept rear-drive single-motor and all-wheel-drive twin-motor powertrains. At launch, the Smart #1 offers 200kW in standard form and 315kW for a twin-motor range-topper.

The platform can accommodate a wide range of battery sizes, although the urban focus of the new model means it is likely to feature a relatively modest unit to keep the size, weight and cost down. The 68kWh pack in the Smart #1 gives a range of 420-430km, which is likely to be considered sufficient for the Volvo SUV’s intended buyers.

The new crossover is expected to advance Volvo’s efforts to use more sustainable and recycled materials in its models, especially as sustainability is a priority for the younger, Gen Z audience.

Making the car affordable will be key to winning over younger buyers. However, Rowan has hinted that Volvo will focus on subscription and online sales for the new model and it will ensure that monthly payments are set at a “reasonably low cost”.

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