Volvo’s Electrifying EM90: Game-Changer in MPV Market?

  • Volvo debuts EM90 MPV, marking a major shift for the brand into the world of multi-purpose vehicles.
  • Zeekr, a Geely brand, provides the foundation for EM90, emphasizing electric power, performance, and range.
  • EM90's entry into South Africa's premium MPV segment could make it the sole electrified contender, challenging the Mercedes V-Class.

In a bold move, Volvo is set to enter the world of Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) with its highly-anticipated EM90, scheduled for debut on the 12th of November. This marks a significant departure for the Swedish automaker, known for its emphasis on safety, luxury, and innovation in its vehicle offerings.

A New Horizon for Volvo

The journey towards this debut began as a mere rumour at the beginning of the year, but it is now becoming a reality. Volvo’s foray into the MPV segment is nothing short of intriguing, and the EM90 is being described as a “Scandinavian living room on the move.” This ambitious project signals a shift in Volvo’s strategy, as it steps into a new market segment it has never explored before.

Zeekr: Geely’s Contribution

The involvement of Zeekr, a brand within the Geely group, adds an interesting layer to this story. The Chinese-built Zeekr 009 minivan will serve as the foundation for the EM90, and a teaser image hints at structural similarities between the two vehicles. While more details are expected in upcoming teasers, the current glimpse showcases a panoramic sunroof for rear passengers and sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle, indicating ample accessibility.

The Zeekr 009, which appears to be the basis for the EM90, is no slouch itself. It boasts generous proportions, measuring 5,209 mm in length, 2,024 mm in width, and 1,867 mm in height, all supported by a substantial wheelbase of 3,205 mm. This minivan can be configured with either a 2+2+2 or 2+2 seating arrangement and carries a substantial weight of 2,830 kg. It’s worth noting that this weight could impact the range on its electrified powertrain, which we’ll delve into shortly.

Electrification at the Core

The EM90 is expected to be built on the SEA platform, which it shares with other Geely group vehicles like the Lotus Eletre and Polestar 5. Notably, the Zeekr 009, which serves as the foundation, features a pair of electric motors generating a combined output of 398 kW. This impressive power propels the minivan to 100 km/h in just four and a half seconds, demonstrating its performance capabilities.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Zeekr 009 is its colossal 140-kWh battery, promising a range of 822 km according to the China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC). This showcases Geely’s commitment to electric mobility and positions the EM90 as a strong contender in the growing electric vehicle market.

Debut Date and Market Focus

The 12th of November, the scheduled debut date for the EM90, coincides with the opening of the order books in China. This is a strategic move, considering that Geely, the parent company, is based in China and the Chinese market’s increasing demand for electric vehicles. While the model is expected to dominate sales in China, the question remains: Will it eventually make its way to other markets, including South Africa?

In South Africa, the EM90 could carve a unique niche for itself. As it stands, it could become the only electrified model in the premium MPV segment, with its sole rival being the Mercedes V-Class people carrier. This potential competition sets the stage for an interesting showdown in the South African market, where consumers are increasingly looking for eco-friendly and spacious vehicles.

Conclusion

As Volvo takes its first steps into the MPV segment with the EM90, it promises to bring the essence of a Scandinavian living room on wheels. Partnering with Zeekr within the Geely group and leveraging their Zeekr 009 minivan as the foundation, Volvo aims to offer a spacious and electrified vehicle with impressive specifications.

The focus on electrification, performance, and range indicates that the EM90 is poised to meet the changing preferences of modern car buyers. While the initial launch is slated for China, South African consumers will undoubtedly keep a keen eye on the developments, as the EM90 has the potential to become a unique player in the South African automotive landscape.

The debut of the EM90 on the 12th of November is sure to be an event worth watching, as Volvo ventures into uncharted territory, bringing Scandinavian luxury and innovation to the world of MPVs. Stay tuned for more updates and details as we approach the highly anticipated unveiling of this exciting new addition to the automotive world.

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