Volvo previews EM90 ahead of official reveal later this year, set to be the brand's first minivan.
The EM90 is expected to be closely paired with the Zeekr 009, produced by Volvo parent company Geely, and offered with a choice of two large battery packs.
Luxury minivans remain a popular segment in China, where the EM90 is expected to be offered exclusively, but remain untested elsewhere despite the debuts of electric passenger vans.
Despite the growing popularity of electric models over the past few years, there are still a few vehicle segments that remain unaddressed in North America. Minivans are certainly one of them, even though companies like Mercedes-Benz have developed electric minivans for other markets. Ford, on the other hand, is currently building a passenger van here in the US, though that's not quite the same thing as a minivan aimed at private buyers.
Now Volvo is getting into the game, revealing a teaser image this week for a model that will be badged EM90. The model is slated to be offered in China later this fall, but it's unlikely to go on sale outside the Middle Kingdom.
What can we expect from the Volvo EM90?
In a way, Volvo's parent company had already previewed an electric minivan with the reveal of the Zeekr 009 model in 2022. The luxurious electric model created under one of Geely's latest brands will be offered with a choice of 116- and 140-kWh battery packs, giving it ranges of 436 miles and 511 miles, respectively.
These are CLTC cycle estimates, and are a bit rosier than what we'd expect to see from the EPA, if the agency were to test one of these in the first place.
But full-charge ranges aren't the only cards the Zeekr 009 is holding.
In dual-motor form, the Zeekr version promises 536 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque, which allow it to zip from 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. (Yes, the preceding sentence was indeed about a minivan).
The Zeekr 009 already entered production at the start of the year and is currently on sale in China.
Once the Volvo EM90 is revealed in full in November, we expect to see similar numbers, along with seating for six or seven. The minivan's second row is likely to feature two sliding captain's chairs, with middle row passengers set to be infotained by a 15.6-inch screen, while the third row will be a bench seat accessible from sliding doors on both sides.
Thus far, Volvo plans to offer the EM90 solely in China, where the luxury minivan segment has been popular for about two decades. But sales elsewhere are a tougher proposition, as 116- and 140-kWh batteries are expensive.
Mass-market internal-combustion minivans in North America and Europe also have a definite price ceiling as family vehicles, not counting various luxury conversions, so a high-priced electric model with a Volvo badge is perhaps unlikely to motivate repeat EV buyers or repeat minivan buyers.
Would an electric minivan from Volvo see popularity if it were offered in North America, or is this segment not ready for EV offerings? Let us know in the comments below.