Wednesday, November 16, 2022

THE EX90 - VOLVO'S FULL EV SUV by John Crawford

On October 15 I published two vague, apparently new models from Volvo. The images were lifted from a patent filing, and as I said at the time patent filings are usually short on detail – but now we can expose all the detail behind Volvo’s latest entry into the BEV game.

The new all-electric Volvo EX90 is less of a ‘new car’ and much more like a computer on wheels. Everything you think about when you consider a new model intro is there. It’s a body, wheels, powertrain, brakes, interior with seats and smart new fabrics and materials – but really, in this case it’s what’s driving the new Volvo EV that’s impressive.


Volvo has completely embraced Artificial Intelligence (AI), and this delivers a truly unique (for now) seven-seat crossover-SUV.


Text lifted from the press kit confirms everything I’ve said:


A core system – powered by NVIDIA DRIVE AI platforms Xavier and Orin, Snapdragon® Cockpit Platforms from Qualcomm Technologies and in-house developed software by Volvo engineers – runs most of the core functions inside the car, from safety and infotainment to battery management. The end result is a more responsive and enjoyable experience inside the car.


In other words, your Volvo EX90 won’t be just a new car, it will be a highly advanced computer on wheels. Even better, just like your smartphone or your laptop, the Volvo EX90 is designed to get better over time, thanks to regular over-the-air software updates.


By combining the state-of-the-art computing power from Snapdragon’ Cockpit Platforms with the visualisation capabilities of Unreal Engine, the 3D tool developed by Epic Games and used to power some of the world’s largest games, to give you lightning-fast computing power and high-quality graphics on the in-car screens and head-up display.


I’m guessing DRIVING&LIFE won’t be driving this Volvo any time soon, but really, I don’t expect there to be much difference in the day-to-day experience. If you’ve driven a Tesla, then I forecast the EX90 will go about its business quietly and quickly and all the AI-driven systems will just do their job in the background.

Volvo says the EX90 will go 600km on a full-charge, and it charges from 10-80% in just 30 minutes. Still longer than standing by a gas pump – but impressive nonetheless.


As well, it wouldn’t be a Volvo from Sweden without a nod to sustainability, recycling and intelligent use of resources.


The Volvo EX90 contains approximately 15 per cent of recycled steel, 25 per cent of recycled aluminium, as well as 48 kilograms of recycled plastics and bio-based materials, which corresponds to around 15 per cent of the total plastic used in the car – the highest level of any Volvo car to date.

Additionally, the overall user experience inside the Volvo EX90 is designed on the principle of complexity made simple, avoiding information overload. The displays in the centre stack and in front of the driver provide information in a smart way that can be customised the way you prefer. The Volvo EX90 will also be compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto™.


Inside the Volvo EX90, a 14.5-inch centre screen is the gateway to one of the most advanced infotainment systems on offer, with Google built-in, and 5G connectivity as standard where available.

Finally, with remote actions you can seamlessly move between the car and your home. Just ask Google to lock, warm up or cool down your Volvo EX90 from the comfort of your home. You can also instantly find out your battery charge level.

Aside from the restrained and sophisticated exterior, the EX90 introduces the same multi-material approach I talked about recently with the Volvo Recharge project – delivered by my good friend Robin Page – who originally joined Volvo as Head of Interior design, but now he is overall Global Head of Design for Volvo.

He and his team have delivered probably Volvo’s most important new car for decades, and with a commitment to introduce a new EV every year up to 2035 the company lifted itself from its rather obscure image as a ‘safe box on wheels’ to a truly benchmark competitor in the very volatile global EV market.


EVs may only be less than 2.5% of global new cars now, but I believe this Volvo will raise the bar, in terms of technology and driver satisfaction, for the others to follow.



Cut and paste this link to view the corporate video:

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