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Swedish efficiency as Volvo EX30 aims to leap ahead in the electric race with smallest SUV

Launching in South Africa in the first quarter of 2024, Volvo EX30 follows in the tracks of the larger EX90, launched last year in November. Though I haven't sample it yet (hello Volvo South Africa), this affordable eco-friendly SUV looks rather promising, given it is competitively priced - between R775, 900 and R995 900 - writes Prashirwin Naidu.

A few weeks back, Volvo unveiled the new electric EX30 Volvo in Milan on June 7, and did a virtual global launch. For the locals, it was at Melrose Arch, while the lucky few got to savour a taste of Italy.

The EX30 follows in the tracks of the larger EX90, launched last year in November. Their main incentive was to make an affordable eco-friendly vehicle. I haven’t sampled it yet, but it looks rather promising, given it is priced between R775, 900 and R995 900.

The starter series could win its customers, given that the Mini Cooper SE is currently the cheapest electric car in the country. However, Chinese carmaker GWM is to launch an electric hatchback, the GWM Ora, at R716 900 – R25 000 less than the Mini.

The Volvo EX30 goes on sale in South Africa in the first quarter of 2024. Volvo says this is the lowest-priced electric vehicle in its range, with most other rivals in the SUV EV category. The least costly Volvo EV is the XC40 P6 Recharge, which is R1 075 000.

Volvo CEO Jim Roman at the reveal event of the Volvo EX30.

 In terms of power, the flagship EX30  produces a quick sprint time  of 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds. That is twice as fast as retired 100-metre sprint champion Usain Bolt could achieve in his lifetime.

Local orders have been opened to the markets in the last few weeks. The car is offered in  single-motor and dual-motor versions, with a range of 480km per charge. The battery would be the main component and will be the defining factor in how much coverage you get. This is Volvo’s smallest car at 4,233mm long and slots in below the XC40, which is 4,425mm.

Given Elon Musk and his revolution in the electric era, prices of the Tesla have fallen several times this year in-order to keep up with the competition in the electric race for customers. The Swedish (Chinese-owned) brand has become one of its rivals.

As we crank up the call to abolish the combustion engine by the year 2035 globally, South Africa will have to move into the electric age fast. I would beg to differ if all these lovely electric vehicles coming our way will be palatable for the market.

Compact, sustainable and stylish: a side view of the fully electric Volvo EX30.

In the meantime, this does not stop Volvo from setting the bar high, with its goal of almost half of its sales being EV’s by 2025 and one hundred percent by 2030. It’s around the corner.

The model comes in a range of choices of two battery types. The first option is cheaper LFP (Lithium-Ferro-Phosphate), specifically targeted to people who will buy the car for day-day city driving or short-distance trips. The better alternative would be the NMC battery which stands for Nickel  Manganese Cobalt, with a range of 480 km.

 At a fast charging station it can can be topped up electrically from 10 percent to 80 percent in 25 minutes. In South Africa, with the EX30, you’ll have two power output choices to choose from and three levels of specification.

The Volvo EX30 Core two-wheel drive Single Motor produces 200kw of power and 343Nm of torque. The 51 kWh battery gives a claimed range of 344 km. The level features will include LED headlights, Cruise Control, rearview camera and 18-inch wheels. In connectivity, model come with a 12-inch-high resolution central display running the latest Android-Powered infotainment system and has wireless update functionality.Volvo’s quoted performance is 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds, and the top speed is 180 km/h.

The interior is eco-friendly and yields a minimal and modern design layout. It also makes use of recycled and renewable materials.

A Minimalistic layout, it also features recycled and renewable materials.

The premium model grade is the EX30 Plus Single Motor ER, having the same power outputs but incorporating a 69kWh battery that gives an increased driving range of up to 480 km and shreds the performance time to 0-100KM/h in 5.3 seconds. The premium model grade gives you more features like; a digital key, power-operated tailgate, wireless phone charger, and two-zone climate control and boasts a premium 1 000W Harman Kardon sound system and has a more extensive set of 19-inch wheels.

Now here’s where the power and intensity increase. The EX30 all-wheel drive Twin Motor brings a whopping performance of 315KW and 543 NM of torque. It’s rich in the power department. It delivers 0-100 in 3.6 seconds. You have a range of 460 km. The Twin Motor Performance is available in the Plus guise as well- just more power, off course.

Finally, there’s the top-of-the-range Ultra Twin Motor Performance with additional features like a 360-degree camera, a panoramic roof, electrically adjustable front seats and monster 20-inch alloy wheels. The Ultra is also available as a Single Motor model.

Overall, the EX30s are kitted out with safety and collision-avoidant technology. Same as Tesla, you also have the feature of the doors being prevented from opening when the car senses pedestrians or people walking by, cyclists.

All-in-all, we soon have yet to see what this vehicle will deliver upfront in person but it’s sounds rather promising and definitely a revolution for the Swedish brand given it’s projections to go fully electric by the year 2030.

Volvo EX30 Price range for South Africa:

  • EX30 Core Single Motor – R775 900
  • EX30 Plus Single Motor ER – R865 900
  • EX30 Plus Twin Motor Performance – R935,900
  • EX30 Ultra Single Motor ER – R965 900
  • EX30 Ultra Twin Motor Performance – R995 900.

*For the latest motoring news updates across the globe and sizzling all new car models launching in South Africa, make sure to visit NOWinSA/Automobile page daily!

Prashirwin Naidu
Prashirwin Naidu
Aspiring scribe, Prashirwin Naidu is a writer focusing on cars and the arts.
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