The coming battery-electric Volvo EX30 plans to have more than just one small footprint. Dimensionally, the urban crossover will roughly be a taller version the retired V40, which was 172 inches long and 71 inches wide — a whisper larger than a Chevrolet Bolt EUV. Volvo also says the EX30 has been planned around having the lowest carbon footprint of any vehicle Volvo Cars has ever made, from extracting the raw minerals to a lifespan of 200,000 kilometers (124,400 miles). The Swedes believe the EX30 will emit less than 30 metric tons of CO2 from the raw materials phase to the end of all those miles. Eighteen of those 30 metric tons is eaten up by the production process, from extracting raw materials to delivering finished cars to dealers, leaving the 200,000 kms of driving to xontribute 12 metric tons.
Based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asserting the average gas vehicle drives 11,500 miles annually and emits 4.6 metric tons of greenhouse gasses in that time, said typical passenger car would emit 49.76 metric tons of greenhouse gasses just in the driving phase of covering 200,000 kms (~124,000 miles). The automaker says the EX30’s carbon footprint is 25% less compared to the battery-electric C40 and XC40 siblings over those 200,000 kms as well.
Of note, these emissions figures are based on owners charging under the EU27 electricity mix, when renewable energy makes up more of the EU energy grid output. Volvo says a “verified Life Cycle Analysis document will be published later this year.”
The overall smaller footprint isn’t solely reliant on a cleaner grid, though. About 25% of the aluminum in the EX30 comes from recycled sources, as does about 17% of the steel and about 17% of the interior plastics. The company says the factory building the EX30 is powered by 100% climate-neutral electricity. Industrial materials utilization is among the highest for any Volvo Cars product. Designers worked to include more functions into various components, reducing the number of parts and the weight of the vehicle.
And the interior is full of sustainable fabrics like denim, flax, and a blended wool that’s 70% recycled polyester. As part of the utilization story, Vovlo says it found a way to use the scraps of denim that would normally be discarded when stitching up a denim interior. When the car has been used up, Volvo says the EX30 is 95% recyclable.
Where the EX30 won’t go small is safety. Engineers designed a safety cage into the structure. Driver safety features include an auto-braking feature for intersections, and a system that detects cyclists approaching from behind and warns the driver not to open the door.
The launch model is expected to offer two battery sizes, and single- and dual-motor powertrains for rear- and all-wheel drive. A 51-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery is anticipated to get the crossover about 400 kilometers on a charge based on the WLTP cycle. A 69-kWh nickel manganese cobalt pack is thought to be good for about 500 kilometers.
Volvo’s newest debuts on June 7 in Milan, Italy. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Lexus will be showing its subcompact crossover LBX in the same city two days before, on June 5. If you’re into small luxury, you know where to be.