Report: Volvo’s SC plant may accelerate EV production launch
It could be an early arrival for the all-electric Volvo EX90 sport-utility vehicle to be built at the automaker’s Lowcountry plant.
Production is now expected to begin slightly sooner than previously announced, according to a report by Inside EVs.
The battery powered EX90 is the successor to Volvo’s popular XC90 — the largest gas-powered SUV in the automaker’s lineup.
The company reportedly will make both the EX90 and XC90 for an undetermined period at its $1.2 billion Berkeley County campus off Interstate 26 before eventually phasing out the internal-combustion engine model.
“Volvo expects only a small number of EX90s to be built in 2023, but that’s still positive news given supply chain issues continue to plague the auto industry,” according to the Inside EVs article.
Production of the EX90 wasn’t expected to begin until early 2024.
One of Volvo’s plants in China will also build the vehicle for the Asian and European markets, indicating the South Carolina-built cars won’t be exported through the Port of Charleston as its locally made S60 sedan has been.
The EX90 is the first in a rollout of one new electric car per year for Volvo, which is headquartered in Sweden and majority-owned by China’s Geely Holding Group. Its success will set expectations for battery-powered vehicles that follow, with Volvo vowing to build only EVs by 2030.
The manufacturer has described the technology available on its new SUV as “a highly advanced computer on wheels,” with safety features that include cameras and a rooftop lidar system that can detect obstacles, a 5G-connected entertainment system featuring a 14.5-inch screen, Google assistant and navigation that’s also compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay.
The seven-seater is expected to hit showrooms in early 2024, with prices starting at about $80,000.