While it’s hard not to trust the company that developed the modern seat belt, Volvo isn’t resting on its laurels. Now it wants to be the company offering a gold standard safety-oriented electric vehicle.
Volvo is pursuing that goal with the EX90, a fully-electric seven-seater SUV. The automaker focused on loading the EX90 up with safety features and technology, aiming it towards those who are in the market for a more environmentally-friendly family car.
Safety first — Volvo loaded the outside of the EX90 with cameras, radars, and lidar sensors so that it can generate a 360-degree view of the world around the car. These same sensors will eventually allow the EX90 to get unsupervised driving features in the future.
There are sensors and cameras inside the car too that can determine if you’re paying attention or not. If it detects that you’re distracted or drowsy, the EX90 will offer a few initial alerts that will be more akin to nudges, but will progressively get more obnoxious until you focus on driving again.
Volvo teamed its in-house engineers up with Nvidia and Snapdragon to design a system that can run all of the EX90’s software demands. The system is powered by Nvidia’s Xavier and Orin AI platforms along with Snapdragon’s Cockpit platform to offer technologies like the previously mentioned safety features, a very capable infotainment system, and battery management. The 14.5-inch center screen offers compatibility with several Google systems, including Google Assistant, Google Maps for navigation, and Google Play. The EX90 is also compatible with Apple’s CarPlay, though.
As for the hard specs, the EX90 will be available first in a twin-motor all-wheel-drive version. This model will get 496 horsepower and 671 lb-ft of torque thanks to its two electric motors. The SUV uses a 111 kWh battery that can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 30 minutes and is expected to give you 300 miles on a single charge.
Built in the U.S. — The Volvo EX90 is already available for pre-order in the U.S., starting at $80,000. If you pre-order now, you’ll still have to wait until fall 2023 to configure your SUV, but you’ll get priority when Volvo starts shipping them out in early 2024. Volvo will build its EX90s destined for U.S. customers at its Charleston, S.C. plant, but has plans to build its SUV in China as well for next year.
Looking ahead, Volvo says it wants to introduce a new fully electric car each year, starting with the EX90 this year. It’s all part of the automaker’s plans to only sell EVs by the end of 2030 and be completely climate-neutral by 2040.