Volvo’s foray into the minivan space has officially begun with the introduction of the EM90 electric minivan. This new addition to Volvo’s lineup made its debut at an event in China, where reservations are already being accepted. While Volvo has not yet divulged details about when the EM90 will be available in other markets, it appears that a U.S. launch is not on the horizon due to the strong preference for SUVs among American consumers seeking extra seats.
When designing the EM90, Volvo drew inspiration from its high-riding Duette wagon of the 1950s and ’60s, with a nod to the Zeekr 009 minivan that was introduced the previous year. Zeekr is Volvo’s sister brand within the Zhejiang Geely portfolio of companies and is also focused on producing high-end EVs. Both the EM90 and the Zeekr 009 minivan are based on Geely’s SEA modular EV platform, with a stretched version supporting a 116-kwh battery and a single electric motor generating 268 hp in the EM90. The vehicle’s performance capabilities include a 0-62 mph time of 8.3 seconds, along with the ability to charge the battery from 10-80% in approximately 30 minutes.
In terms of design, the EM90 embodies modern Volvo styling elements while maintaining the boxy form characteristic of a minivan. Notable design features include the familiar Thor’s Hammer daytime running light signature in the headlights, as well as the illuminated Volvo logo. The rear of the EM90 boasts waterfall taillights with a sleek design inspired by city skyscrapers. The vehicle comes standard with 19-inch wheels, but an option for 20-inch wheels is also available, both featuring an aerodynamic pattern to enhance efficiency.
Moving to the interior, Volvo has managed to transform the minivan’s traditional, unremarkable cabin into a comfortable and inviting space. The six individual seats are split over three rows and offer personalized entertainment and comfort adjustments. In the second row, the seats come equipped with a massage function, individual ventilation and heating options, as well as built-in tables and cupholders. Audio is provided by a premium 21-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system, further enhancing the in-car experience for both drivers and passengers.
The EM90’s debut has sparked discussions about its potential to make a significant impact in Volvo’s lineup, as it forms part of a larger strategy to introduce a total of six electric vehicles by 2026. This electric vehicle lineup is expected to include the 2024 EX30 subcompact crossover and the EX90 mid-size SUV, as well as a compact offering that may carry the EX60 badge. Additionally, the lineup will likely feature two sedans positioned within the same segments as the current S60 and S90 models, expected to be badged as ES60 and ES90.
Another key feature of the EM90 is its bidirectional charging capabilities, allowing it to support vehicle-to-grid capability when equipped with the appropriate hardware and software. This technology presents the potential to reduce the owner’s energy bills by utilizing the vehicle as a battery during peak hours when energy prices are high, subsequently recharging during off-peak hours. Responding to this emerging market, Volvo recently launched Volvo Cars Energy Solutions, a new business focused on the integration of electric vehicles into energy grids.
In conclusion, Volvo’s entry into the minivan market with the EM90 electric minivan reflects the company’s commitment to expanding its electric vehicle portfolio while embracing new technologies and design innovation. The EM90’s combination of high-end features, futuristic design, and sustainable energy solutions positions it as a compelling option for environmentally conscious consumers seeking a premium minivan experience. As Volvo continues to prioritize the development of electric vehicles, the EM90 serves as a noteworthy addition to the brand’s vision for the future of sustainable mobility and luxury transportation.