Volvo has released specifications for its new EX30 a week ahead of the local launch, and the pricing came as a particularly nice surprise.

New-car prices have skyrocketed in recent years, with once-common performance vehicles such as the Golf GTI already starting well past the three-quarters of a million Rand mark these days. That money will buy you 180 kW and a desirable badge, yes, but it’s still pretty expensive.

What do we make of the new Volvo EX30’s entry price of R 775 900, then? This is actually a grand less than the least-expensive new Golf, yet it offers rear-wheel drive and a 20 kW power advantage in base trim. Don’t imagine that the entry-level EX30 is a bargain-priced loss leader just to lure buyers into the showroom, either, because this comparative bargain pricing applies across the model range.

Opt for the more powerful EX30 to get all-wheel drive and boost the power to 315 kW, and even then, it can still be had for similar money as a significantly less-potent Golf R. In fact, you’re unlikely to get 300 kW for less than a million Rand anywhere else, and you definitely won’t get a sub-4-second 0 - 100 km/h dash for that money, either.

Related: Still prefer a petrol-powered Golf over any EV? These new or used GTIs and Rs on CHANGECARS will make you smile!

Volvo EX30 specifications

Two drivetrain options will be available in EX30s destined for our market, offering a choice between a single-motor RWD version with 200 kW/343 Nm and a dual-motor AWD layout with 315 kW and 543 Nm. Additionally, the lower-power version offers a choice between 51 kWh and 69 kWh battery packs, while the larger-capacity battery is used on all AWD derivatives. Depending on the motor layout and battery size, driving range varies between a claimed 344 km and 476 km.

This spread of battery/motor combinations allows Volvo to offer three performance levels, but none of them are exactly lazy. Even the least-expensive RWD EX30 should be able to hit 100 km/h in about 5.7 seconds, while the larger battery’s stronger stream of electrons drops that to 5.3 seconds. If that’s not quite quick enough, the dual-motor versions can do the benchmark sprint in only 3.6 seconds - that’s Audi RS6-level of quick for less than half the money.

Bringing EV performance to the masses

The Volvo EX30 isn’t the least-expensive EV in our market - that title goes to the GWM Ora 03 300, which starts a good R 100 000 lower than the base EX30. However, the EX30 is the first EV to bring high performance to the lower end of the local EV scene, finally offering a real incentive other than perceived eco-awareness to choose electric power over fossil fuels in the lower price bracket.

Not only is the AWD EX30 one of the quickest cars available under a million Rand, but the AWD version is also the quickest-accelerating Volvo yet. Volvo offers the XC40 B3 around the same price point as the base EX30, but that has to make do with only 110 kW and 265 Nm, and can’t even crack 10 seconds in the 0 - 100 km/h dash.

Related: If you like the look of a Volvo XC40, you’ll find an excellent new or used example on CHANGECARS.

How did they do it? To a large extent, the EX30’s relative affordability stems from the fact that Volvo is owned by Chinese automaker Geely, which achieves economies of scale by deriving the EX30 from the same platform as two other EVs. Dubbed the SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture), it also underpins the next-generation Smart cars as well as a Chinese-market “Zeekr X”, and relies heavily on recycled materials in its construction.

17% of the steel used in its construction is recycled, as are 25% of the aluminium and 17% of the plastic. This emphasis on recycled material not only reduces production input costs, but also gives the EX30 a lower total lifecycle carbon footprint, from manufacturing until it gets decommissioned, compared to other Volvos.

How much will the Volvo EX30 cost?

The initial pricing released by Volvo Car SA includes a warranty, maintenance plan and roadside assistance for 5 years or 100 000 km, while an 8-year warranty covers the battery pack. 3 trim levels will be available, with the Core being the only one with the lower-capacity battery.

EX30 Core Single Motor: R 775 900

EX30 Plus Single Motor Extended Range: R 865 900

EX30 Plus Twin Motor Performance: R 935 900

EX30 Ultra Single Motor Extended Range: R 965 900

EX30 Ultra Twin Motor Performance: R 995 900

We’ll go into more detail regarding standard equipment and the driving experience in our launch report: The on-paper possibilities already make this one of the most intriguing new arrivals in our marketplace in recent years, so we can’t wait to try out the EX30 in the real world!

Martin Pretorius


Shop for a new or used Volvo to suit your lifestyle in this great selection on CHANGECARS.