With rare exception, everything Volvo brings to market, going forward, will be all-electric. And that includes the brand’s first minivan. Images of the Volvo EM90 have begun leaking out and, not surprisingly, it bears a more than passing resemblance to the ZEEKR 009, the all-electric people-mover also being launched next year by the Swedish automaker’s Chinese parent, Geely.
There are some big changes coming at Volvo, and they’re all apparent in the form of the EM90. It’s not only the Swedish automaker’s first minivan, but it’s also all-electric.
Described by the Swedish automaker as “a Scandinavian living room on the move,” the Volvo EM90 will sit at the top of the line-up, alongside models like today’s XC90 crossover and the upcoming EX90 battery-electric flagship.
Set to make its debut next year, the EM90 is a classic one-box people-mover. But it bears numerous familiar Volvo cues, including the automaker’s trademark Thor’s Hammer headlights and its “iron mark” logo.
Déjà vu all over again
But those familiar with the Chinese EV market may also be struck by a sense of déjà vu. That’s because the EM90 shares its skateboard-like platform and other design cues with the ZEEKR 009. That’s the all-electric minivan also set to be introduced by Volvo’s Chinese parent, Geely.
Both models, apparently, are set to debut in Shanghai Nov. 12, according to China’s Ministry of Industry Information and Technology, or MIIT, which is the sources of the leaked images.
Geely purchased Volvo from Ford a decade ago and has invested heavily in the expansion of the brand, notably pumping billions of dollars into Volvo’s nascent migration to all-electric propulsion. It plans to eliminate internal combustion technology — including plug-in hybrids — by 2030. But, going forward, all completely new models, like the EM90 minivans, as well as the EX90 and EX30 crossovers, will be offered only with EV powertrains.
Partnering with ZEEKR and Polestar
To help boost economies of scale — translating into lower production costs — Volvo products will share key components, notably their platforms and drivetrains, with several other Geely brands. Including both ZEEKR and the EV-only Polestar. The SEA platform will be used for several of Volvo’s larger models, like the EX90, as well as the upcoming Polestar 4.
While Volvo hasn’t released details yet, the EM90 is expected to offer the same sort of luxury accoutrements to come in the EX90. And it will feature a choice of a single-motor version making 272 horsepower, or a dual-motor drivetrain — one on each axle — making 544 hp. Energy will come from a 140 kilowatt-hour battery pack.
That’s fairly large pack, even bigger than what Ford uses in its F-150 Lightning. So, if true, that lends credibility to reports the EM90 could make as much as 500 miles per charge. But that rating is likely based on the global WLTP test cycle, rather than EPA standards.
Typically, it would be expected to get about 20% less range if brought to the U.S. But that’s a big “if.”
Chinese market first. Europe and U.S. might follow
For now, both the Volvo EM90 and ZEEKR 009 appear to be targeted at the Chinese market, most likely as an executive vehicle. Fittingly, said Volvo, its van is “designed to make the most of the time spent in the car.”
With minivans still popular there, Europe might also present opportunities. Measuring 205 inches in total length, 80 inches in width and 72 inches in height, the EM90 would seem to be a direct competitor to Mercedes’ own all-electric van, the EQV.
Considering the steady decline of the minivan segment, it’s far less certain Volvo would bring the EM90 to the States. But we’ve seen a handful of people-mover concepts over the last several years. And with truly autonomous vehicle technology starting to approach reality, the idea of having a living room on wheels might just appeal to some American buyers.