The EX90, Volvo’s new digital and sustainable flagship
"This is not just the launch of a new model. It’s the launch of a new era for Volvo”, said CEO Jim Rowan, presenting the EX90 in Stockholm. This new car exemplifies Volvo’s ambition to be completely climate-neutral by 2040. But the EX90 is not just fully electric. It’s also highly connected and excels, to nobody’s surprise, in safety. So, what’s it like?
Volvo has an even more urgent target than going climate-neutral by 2040. By 2030, it aims to sell only full-electric vehicles. It’s a sales promise that the EX90 – Volvo’s new digital and sustainable flagship – must play a large part in fulfilling. But will the flagship find favour with corporate clients and other customers? Here’s what we think, in five Qs and As.
1. What does the EX90 look like?
As the number indicates, the EX90 is the successor of the XC90. But although it seats seven people in three rows, it’s not your typical massive SUV. Compared to the initial model concept, called Recharge, the EX90 hasn’t lost height. However, seen from the outside, it does look slimmer and longer than most giant premium SUVs. In other words: Volvo’s design strikes a nice balance between an SUV and a wagon. In terms of design, both the exterior and interior are exemplary of Volvo’s minimalism. The rounded front, the flush door handles and the lush glazing support the slim look and aerodynamics of the car. With a drag score of 0.29, the EX90 performs exceptionally well in the bigger SUV segment.
The EX90’s interior is pure and minimalistic: every possible distraction for the driver has been removed, and anything unnecessary has been left out, for the sake of simplicity and efficiency. So, no buttons and no steering wheel controls. Inside, a 14.5-inch screen gives driver and passenger access to all features, providing information tailored to any situation. That information is projected on a second screen above the steering wheel in front of the driver.
The interior material is pure and breathes nature and eco-friendliness. The seats are well formed and inspired by luxury yachts, but in a light and modern jacket.
2. How electric is the EX90?
The new EX90 is fully battery-powered. Despite weighing more than 3,000 pounds, the car has an autonomy of up to 600 km on a single charge, thanks to its 111kWh battery and two permanent magnet electric motors delivering 380 kW (517 hp) and 910 Nm of torque. Volvo has equipped its new flagship car with the option of bidirectional charging, which is available in selected markets. The carmaker will introduce a biredictional wallbox and home energy management system. This offer will pave the way for more efficient energy management between car and home.
Volvo says the battery system is highly capable and designed to handle peak DC charging at 250 kW. A 10-minute charge will give 180 km of extra autonomy, while plugging it in at a fast charger for half an hour is enough to fill the battery pack from 10% to 80%.
Volvo claims its batteries have been developed and produced with green energy, and the Sustainability ambition has also been translated into bodywork and interior materials. The Volvo EX90 contains approximately 15% recycled steel, 25% recycled aluminium, as well as 48 kilograms of recycled plastics and bio-based materials, which corresponds to around 15% of the total plastic used in the car - the highest level of any Volvo car to date. The wood used in the interior comes from responsibly managed forests.
3. How connected is the EX90?
The new Volvo EX90 is the most connected vehicle ever to leave the Swedish carmaker’s drawing board. It features 5G compatibility for quick over-the-air updates and increased infotainment options. The infotainment runs on Google’s operating system, including hands-free help from Google Assistant, Google Maps navigation and Google Play. Yet the Volvo EX90 is also compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay.
And thanks to the Volvo Cars App, which acts as a personal assistant and digital key that can be shared with family or friends, the driver can maximise his sustainable driving experience, as thousands of public charging points are integrated. The Volvo EX90 will also support Plug and Charge, enabling automatic recognition of the charging car, with automatic payment.
4. Is the EX90 safe?
This is Volvo we’re talking about, so that’s almost a rhetorical question. In fact, the carmaker claims the EX90 is the safest car they ever built. Just going by the numbers is impressive already: the car has no less than eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors and even a lidar. This roof-mounted lidar is used to scan and picture the surroundings in 3D, so it can detect pedestrians at up to 250-metre distances and objects such as a tire on the road or a pothole 120 metres ahead. Volvo says the lidar technology will reduce accidents with severe outcomes by up to 20% and prevent one in ten crashes.
The installed technology will also enable awareness alerts. Sensors can detect if the driver is distracted or tired. And when parked, the built-in sensors can signal if ‘living objects’ are left behind, like a baby or a pet.
5. Is the EX90 a fleet car?
No… and yes. It will come as no surprise that the new EX90 is not a regular company car. With its price tag of around €100,000, it competes with the BMW iX and EQE SUV in the premium and luxury eSUV segment. That excludes it from most benefit car lists, but for executives and self-made businesspeople, it’s an elegant, tech-savvy, safe and sustainable companion for business and leisure.
Will the EX90 be yours immediately after ordering? No, the EX90 abides by the current production constraints challenging the industry. As for now, delivery times go up to 16 months.