We think the XC40 is a striking looking car, resembling a baby XC40 Recharge with its smooth front grille. It comes in a choice of five exterior colours and two interior colours, all at no extra cost. Volvo has taken inspiration from cars like the Tesla Model 3 for the key. Or lack of it. Owners will simply get a key card and an app, which you can use remotely to adjust climate settings, control charging, update and upgrade software, and much more.
The EX30 range will come with three different options: a Single Motor version with 270bhp and a 51kWh battery; a Single Motor Extended Range with 270bhp and a 69kWh battery; and of course, it wouldn’t be a Volvo without a performance model in the range so there's also a Twin Motor Performance with 424bhp and a 69kWh battery. The will be the fastest accelerating production car Volvo has ever built.
It might also be the smallest car in the Volvo range but it doesn’t feel too compact inside. It’s spacious and minimalist, featuring recycled plastics, along with familiar Volvo touches like its square-ish steering wheel, glossy black trim, and large portrait screen.
Volvo EX30 interior and tech
The main focus in the pared-back interior is its central infotainment system which runs a Google operating system, so it gets Google Maps navigation, Assistant and Play, it’ll use on 5G when it's available and is the first Volvo to also have Apple CarPlay. There’s a small secondary monitor tucked behind the steering wheel so the driver can easily keep an eye on the most critical driver information but there are no physical buttons to operate any of the cars functions. Even the compact central glove box has to be opened using the screen, although there are physical buttons for the windows, which are no longer positioned in the doors but have been moved into the central console which moves backwards and forwards and contains two cup holders. Also moved out of the doors are the speakers, which have been replaced by a sound bar which runs along the top of the dashboard. This leaves plenty of room in the doors for large storage compartments, which add to a feeling of interior space.
The interior comes with a choice of four different schemes, each known as ‘Rooms’ and whilst Volvo has resisted the urge to add fake performance noises to the EX30 they’ve followed in the example of cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 by offering a selection of Scandinavian inspired sound themes, which can be paired with different lighting options. These range from warm sunlight falling through the leaves of a forest, a sunset on the Swedish west coast, the sound of the northern lights, or even Swedish. If that all get too much then the central screen has an option called Calm View, that lets you opt to have only the essential driver information on the centre display, which will be less distracting for night driving.
Volvo EX30 range, battery and charging
The EX40 comes with two different battery options. The standard-range battery uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry, which is more cost-effective and less resource-intensive to produce. It’s also thought to be less liable to degrade over time, however range is more limited and the official figure for the standard range car is 214 miles. The Single Motor Extended Range variant uses an NMC battery with lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt, which produces its energy more efficiently than the LFP variant. It’s more expensive but you get more range, up to 298 WLTP miles. The Twin Motor Performance version pairs that NMC battery with an additional second motor; and the performance ultimately means a drop in efficiency reducing the WLTP range to 286 miles.
Google maps will automatically find you a charger when you’re running low and then take you to it whilst the car preconditions the battery to the right temperature. When you get to a charger the extended-range Twin Motor can accept up to 153kW, while the standard-range car has a capacity of 134kW.
Volvo EX30 practicality and boot space
While the front feels spacious particularly with the panoramic sunroof, the rear seats are more compact. You’ll get three adults in but it will be a squeeze. Boot storage is better than you'll get on a Vauxhall Mokka and about the same size as an VW ID.3 but not as generous as a Kia Niro EV. We like the handy little infographic to help you work out how much you can cram into it and you also get a frunk.
Volvo EX30 performance and driving
We’ll be driving the EX30 later in 2023 so all we have at this point are performance figures The EX30 range will come with three different options: a Single Motor version with 270bhp and a 51kWh battery; a Single Motor Extended Range with 270bhp and a 69kWh battery; and a Twin Motor Performance with 424bhp and a 69kWh battery.
The Twin Motor Performance version pairs the NMC battery with an additional second e-motor to produce 424bhp, giving it a claimed 3.6 second 0-62 time. That’s 0.1 slower than a Tesla Model Y Performance.
As you might expect, the 4x4 version also has the largest towing capacity, at 1,600kg compared to the 1,400kg of the extended range and 1,000kg for the standard model.
Volvo EX30 Safety
Being a Volvo, safety is key for the EX30 and it comes with loads of safety kit. It has driver assistance programmes like lane changing tech, collision avoidance systems and a driver alert system to warn you if your attention is wandering. A feature standard across the range aims to prevent door accidents by alerting occupants about to open a door in front of a cyclist, scooter, or runner.
The EX30 is the first Volvo to include a new generation of the Park Pilot Assist feature that can handle all types of parking spaces including parallel, curved, perpendicular, and diagonal fishbone-style. The feature identifies available parking spots, then a user taps the one wanted in the new 3D user interface and the system operates the throttle, braking, and parks the car for you.
Volvo EX30 sustainability
Another first for the EX30 is the claim that this is the greenest car Volvo has ever made. At Electrifying.com we know that the carbon footprint of a car starts when it is built, before the owner even sits in the driver’s seat for the first time. To help highlight the issue, we put together a panel of experts to assess, scrutinise and rate car manufacturers on their overall sustainability. Those who have a strong story to tell and are going above and beyond the legal requirements are being rewarded with a Green Hero award and we’ll be assessing Volvo’s claims to see if they qualify for one.
Overall, Volvo has managed to reduce its total carbon footprint by 25 per cent compared to its other fully electric C40 and XC40 models. How have they done that? It’s a smaller car, so that means less aluminium and steel, while a quarter of the aluminium is recycled, along with 17% of the steel and 17% of the plastics. The EX30 will be built in a factory powered by climate-neutral energy and Volvo has worked with its supply chain to ensure they’re on board with the plan. They use blockchain technology in place to help trace how raw materials like lithium, manganese and cobalt are mined.
The company is also using a wide array of recycled and renewable materials for seats, dashboard and doors, including denim, flax, and a wool-blend that also contains recycled polyester. Whilst there are recycled plastics here made from discarded roller shutters and window frames.
Price and running costs
In terms of price, the Volvo undercuts the cheapest Kia Niro EV by £3,500 and the Vauxhall Mokka by more than £5,000. The Single Motor Extended Range is on sale now and is priced at £38,545, while the Twin Motor Performance model, which Volvo expects to be the most popular in the range, starts at £40,995.
The most efficient model has official consumption figures of around 4.2 miles per kWh of electricity. That's good, but falls a little short of cars like the Jeep Avenger and Vauxhall Astra Electric.
Volvo EX30 Verdict
There are a few electric car launches which really take us by surprise, and the EX30 is one of them. The specifications look very competitive and Volvo's rivals will be worried. After a brief look at a pre-production car it is clear to see where the costs have been saved, but I’m impressed with the overall package. I’ll reserve judgement until I drive it later this year but the early signs are good and the pricing is very tempting.