Volvo Starts Manufacturing Electric Minivan

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Volvo Starts Manufacturing Electric Minivan
Volvo Starts Manufacturing Electric Minivan (Credits: Autoweek)

Volvo has commenced production of its EM90 minivan this month, marking a significant milestone with the first deliveries slated for March. Manufactured in China and primarily targeted at the domestic market, the EM90 draws close inspiration from the Zeekr 009, another electric brand under Volvo’s parent company, Geely.

Diverging from the Zeekr model, the Volvo EM90 will feature a single-motor configuration, boasting a 116-kWh battery capable of providing an estimated range of 459 miles according to the CLTC cycle, albeit somewhat optimistically.

This positions it as Volvo’s longest-range model on paper, though actual EPA figures would likely be more conservative. Moreover, it claims the title of being the most spacious in Volvo’s lineup, surpassing even iconic models like the Volvo 245 Transfer.

Volvo Starts Manufacturing Electric Minivan
Volvo Starts Manufacturing Electric Minivan (Credits: Autoweek)

On the interior front, passengers are greeted with two sizable screens, including a 15.4-inch display upfront. Rear-seat occupants benefit from an additional 15.6-inch screen that folds down from the ceiling, offering entertainment options such as movie viewing.

While sharing the Sustainable Experience Architecture 1 (SEA) platform, the Volvo and Zeekr models exhibit some distinctions.

The Zeekr model is available in a dual-motor configuration, delivering a combined output of 536 hp, whereas the Volvo is confined to a single-motor setup, generating 268 hp. Consequently, the Volvo EM90 boasts a comparatively slower 0-to-62 mph acceleration time of 8.3 seconds, lagging behind Zeekr’s 4.5 seconds.

Geely’s approach to the SEA platform showcases model diversity, extending its application to vehicles as varied as the Lotus Eletre and the Polestar 4. Meanwhile, the latter electric duo is poised to enter the U.S. market later this year.

The luxury minivan segment holds particular significance in China, with electric entries gaining traction recently, albeit at premium prices. Volvo’s EM90 commands a starting price equivalent to $114,000, positioning it beyond the reach of European and American minivan buyers.

As such, Volvo has no immediate plans to introduce the EM90 to North America, ceding the electric minivan segment to Volkswagen, notably with the anticipated launch of the VW ID. Buzz later this year.

While Ford’s E-Transit is available as a passenger van primarily targeting commercial users, it does not align with the typical minivan shopper demographic.

In the U.S., the electric minivan segment’s long-term outlook appears subdued, with few established players and little expectation for significant changes in the near future, as automakers prioritize the development of crossovers. Consequently, Volvo’s EM90 is expected to remain confined to markets across the Pacific.

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