Volvo Unveils Flagship Battery SUV in Push to Ditch Engines – HT Tech

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Volvo Car AB showed off the EX90, a battery-powered sport utility vehicle to succeed its gasoline-era flagship as the automaker pushes to go all-electric by the end of the decade.
The vehicle, featuring lidar sensors to better see its surroundings, has as much as 600 kilometers (373 miles) of range and succeeds the popular XC90 introduced eight years ago. Chief Executive Officer Jim Rowan is under pressure to deliver on the manufacturer’s ambitious electrification plan, with EVs making up just 15% of total shipments in October.
Volvo Car is entering a crowded space as manufacturers jostle for a piece of the lucrative SUV market. Last month, Mercedes-Benz AG and Polestar Automotive Holding unveiled new battery SUVs to take on Tesla Inc.’s Model Y. Chinese manufacturers are also seeking to make inroads into Europe, with Nio Inc. planning to start sales in markets including Sweden.
The 7-seater EX90, available from $80,000, is the first model built on the carmaker’s new dedicated EV platform with production at Volvo’s US plants in Ridgeville and Charleston, South Carolina, starting next year. In 2024, output will commence in China. Making the car a success is crucial for reaching targets to sell 1.2 million vehicles annually by mid-decade, up from around 699,000 last year, and to cease making combustion autos by 2030.
“We are very comfortable with that target,” Rowan said during an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We are launching a new EV every year for the next five years.”
Following the EX90 is a smaller SUV in 2023. The company is also holding an investor day on Thursday.
Asked about some recent mixed signals on electrification regulation, Rowan said EVs are set for rapid adoption after reaching a tipping point.
“Technology wins the day,” he said. “EVs are the better technology than combustion engines — there’s better acceleration and less noise. ”
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