The small electric car has huge appeal
– Gothenburg, Sweden
“Every Volvo should be predictable, controllable and comfortable.” That’s the guidance from Egbert Bakker, Volvo’s head of vehicle dynamics, who drove me around the company’s proving ground in a very nice Moss Yellow EX30 prototype. It will be a few weeks before I can get behind the wheel of Volvo’s new electric car myself. But riding shotgun with Packer, I actually find a lot to like.
When it goes on sale next year, the 2025 EX30 will be Volvo’s smallest and least expensive model. At 166.7 inches long, 72.3 inches wide and 61.1 inches tall, the EX30 EV is about the same size as the Hyundai Kona. With a starting price of $36,145, including a $1,195 destination charge, the EX30 will undercut the price of Volvo’s current entry-level electric car, the XC40 Recharge, by a full $18,600.
|Quick specifications||2025 Volvo EX30|
|engine||Dual permanent magnet synchronous|
|Production |||422 hp / 400 lb-ft|
|ranges||265 miles (estimated)|
|Charge type||153 kW DC|
|Base price||$34,950 + $1,195 destination|
|Single sale date||Summer 2024|
None of the EX30’s specifications are particularly eye-catching, yet it’s poised to be competitive against other small electric cars. In the US, we’ll only get the larger 69.0 kWh battery option – of which 64.0 kWh is usable – with a maximum DC fast charging rate of 153.0 kW. Other countries will be privy to a smaller 51.0 kWh battery (49.0 kWh usable), with a slower charging speed of 134.0 kW. Volvo has no plans to bring the smaller battery to the United States at the moment.
On the subject of charging, Volvo will soon adopt Tesla’s standard North American charging plug, but the first round of EX30s won’t have that setup. Early customers will get an adapter that allows them to use the Tesla Supercharger network, but the 2026 EX30 will be the first to enjoy Volvo’s new combo design.
The 69.0 kWh vehicle will come in two straightforwardly named models: Range Extended Single Motor and Dual Motor Performance. The former has a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle, generating 268 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. The latter – unsurprisingly – adds a second e-motor to the front axle, increasing power to 422 hp and 400 lb-ft.
Final range numbers are still to be determined, but Volvo’s estimates are 275 miles for the single-motor EX30 and 265 miles for the dual-motor version. For comparison, the aforementioned, similarly sized Hyundai Kona is expected to return 260 miles on a full charge. In the luxury space, the pricey little Audi Q4 E-Tron achieves 265 miles on a full charge, so the EX30 is on track — assuming the final EPA ratings hold up.
It can be controlled
Located outside Gothenburg, Sweden, the Halride test track is a narrow, winding track with many potholes, undulations and other suspension artifacts designed to mimic road conditions around the world. While driving the EX30 Twin Motor Performance car, Packer intentionally points the EV’s nose into these rougher patches, and executes some sharp steering maneuvers to prove the car’s stability at speed. At all times, the EX30 maintains its balance and composure, with appropriate amounts of lateral roll after Packer’s more aggressive steering wheel saws. The EX30 is planted and feels solid, with less body motion than the higher-riding Volvo C40 and XC40 EVs.
We’ll get 19- and 20-inch wheel options in the U.S., and our Moss Yellow test car will ride on the latter, wrapped in Euro-spec summer tires. The ride is definitely on the firm side, and driving over manhole covers and rough surfaces unsettles the EX30 a bit. However, US-spec cars will have all-season tires, so perhaps this EV will be a little more compatible when it arrives stateside. I’m willing to bet the smaller diameter 19-inch wheels would help some, too, though those 20 wheels sure look stylish.
The EX30 is planted and feels solid, with less body motion than the higher-riding Volvo C40 and XC40 EVs.
Farewell to Packer, I jump into the gray EX30 prototype with EX30 product lead, Joachim Hermansson. Here, the focus is less on ride and handling and more on the EX30’s power, which is a really pleasant surprise. No, 422 hp and 400 lb-ft aren’t rocket numbers for an electric car these days, but the result is a subcompact crossover that can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, making it Volvo’s fastest production car ever.
The EX30’s dual-motor powertrain is a variable all-wheel drive system, with the front axle only engaged under hard acceleration or loss of traction. There’s an AWD Performance setting where you can lock the Twin Motor EX30 into permanent all-wheel drive, but there’s a big caveat with this mode: you lose the ability to drive with one pedal. Hermansson said this is due to the different throttle mapping requirements of the standard and performance 4WD modes, and that one-pedal regenerative braking would be too jerky under the latter setting. loss? certainly. Can it be controlled? Challenge.
Despite its small size, the EX30 is very spacious inside – at least, from the front seats, where there’s no shortage of head or legroom. Much of the cabin’s open and airy feeling is down to its great overall design. “Everything has a function” inside a Volvo, and the EX30 is “one of our finest examples of that,” Hermansson said.
Beyond the overall aesthetics, the EX30 showcases Volvo’s focus on using sustainable textiles that are interesting to look at and touch. Volvo really wants to explore “other expressions of Scandinavian excellence,” said Dan Fidget, Volvo’s head of color and materials, which is why you’ll see things like recycled denim trims, textures made from plant stems, wool fabric, and composite materials. “Celestial deco made from Floors made from recycled scraps There will be four “room” themes available at launch, and they all look great.
“I think we’re more proud of this than any other car as a design team,” Fidget said.
However, the EX30 isn’t perfect. There are two power window switches on the center console, which isn’t a problem per se, but to control the rear windows you have to press the front/rear toggle switch, just like the crappy switch in a Volkswagen ID.4. Relying on a single central touchscreen for most car functions also leaves a lot to be desired, although Volvo stresses that things like wiper controls and mirror adjustments will always be physical controls. Maybe these wouldn’t be so bad from behind the wheel. we will see.
But wait there’s more
Later next year, Volvo will offer the EX30 Cross Country, with more ground clearance and 18-inch wheels wrapped in 225/55 all-terrain tires. The purposeful cladding and skid plates really work on the EX30, turning this electric crossover into a subcompact. How this update will affect performance and range is still under wraps at the moment.
Cross country or not, I’m pretty upset with the EX30 as a whole. While Volvo hopes the EX30 will attract plenty of new buyers to the brand, brand loyalists should find plenty to like. The EX30 feels like a comfortable, predictable and controlled Volvo – with an added touch of personality.