Volvo is making strides towards its goal of exclusively selling electric vehicles by 2030, with the all-electric EX30 compact crossover serving as a crucial step in this direction. The company aims to achieve 50% EV sales by 2025. Unlike previous generations, the EX30 breaks from tradition by adopting rear-wheel drive as its base configuration but offers optional all-wheel drive with an additional front motor. The larger EX90 electric SUV, originally intended to launch ahead of the EX30, has faced delays.
Luxury is redefined in the EX30 as Volvo takes a progressive approach to interior design. Scandinavian influences still dominate, but the cabin, while modern and functional, lacks the opulence typically associated with luxury vehicles. For instance, the elegant matte-finish blonde oak veneer and Orrefors crystal shifter found in previous models are absent in the EX30, replaced by simpler, more practical alternatives.
Before delving into the interior, it’s important to note the EX30’s performance and powertrain. The single rear motor, powered by a 69-kWh NMC battery, delivers 268 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, propelling the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds. With the addition of a second front motor, the power output increases to 422 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, reducing the 0-to-60 time to 3.4 seconds. Weighing in at 3858 pounds with a single motor or 4140 pounds with two, the EX30 is relatively light among EVs. It also boasts fast charging capabilities, reaching 10% to 80% in just 26.5 minutes with a 153 kW DC fast charge.
From a driving perspective, the EX30 is both capable and enjoyable, providing ample acceleration from a standstill and at highway speeds in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. Some argue that the single-motor version offers better handling due to the added weight and torque steer of the AWD variant.
In terms of energy efficiency, our test drive revealed that the single-motor EX30 achieved an impressive 3.9 miles per kWh. While the twin-motor version fell slightly behind at 3.0 miles per kWh. Volvo is considering an over-the-air update to introduce a less abrupt setting for regenerative braking and expand the one-pedal driving feature.
As EVs become more commonplace. It’s the range, styling, and interior features that set them apart. In the case of the EX30, Volvo made a deliberate decision to prioritize affordability by employing a basic interior design that utilizes an abundance of hard, inexpensive plastic materials.
Despite the cost-cutting measures, the EX30 boasts innovative and sustainable materials. For instance, seat fabrics are woven from recycled denim scraps. A leather alternative called Nordico is produced from pine resin and polymer, and linseed plants are used to create string for the flax weave decoration on certain models’ instrument panels and doors. In addition, top-level seats are crafted from a durable blend of wool and recycled pop bottles.