Here’s Why Volvo and Polestar Are Both Delaying Electric SUV Production

volvo ex90
Here’s Why Volvo Is Delaying EX90 SUV ProductionVolvo
  • The Volvo EX90 electric SUV is now scheduled to enter production in South Carolina in the first half of 2024, due to additional time needed for software development and testing.

  • The start of production of the Polestar 3 SUV will be delayed as well, with Polestar citing a Q1 2024 launch.

  • Volvo's upcoming electric SUV will offer a dual-motor layout and a 111-kWh battery, giving it a range of about 300 miles.

The Volvo EX90 will easily be the automaker's most important launch of the first half of this decade, with the battery-electric SUV promising to take the brand to new heights when it comes to technology and luxury. Revealed in full last fall, the SUV will also be the brand's electric flagship, landing in a segment that is gaining momentum with the debuts of similarly sized models from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.

The EX90 was originally scheduled to enter production in South Carolina in the second half of this year, but it has now been delayed until 2024. What's more, the Polestar 3 SUV, which will share a platform with the Volvo model, will be delayed as well, postponing the automakers' two very crucial models.

What's to blame for the delay?

"Demand for the Volvo EX90 remains high and to ensure a high-quality introduction of the car and to maximize customer benefit from its technology from day 1, Volvo Cars needs additional time in software development and testing and is adjusting the planned start of production timing," the automaker said. "Production is now expected to begin in H1 2024."

Polestar, for its part, cited a closer timeline for the start of production of its Polestar 3 sibling.

"Polestar was recently informed that additional time for final software development of the new all-electric platform shared by Volvo Cars is needed and that the start of production of Polestar 3 is now expected in the first quarter of 2024," the automaker said in a statement.

polestar 3
All-electric Polestar 3.Polestar / Stefan Isaksson

Volvo and Polestar did not elaborate just what system's software will need further development, but at least the culprits are not battery supplies or other components, which are issues still plaguing the EV industry.

The EX90 is set to offer up to 517 hp and a range of 300 miles, courtesy of a 111-kWh battery and a dual-motor layout. An entry-level version with two motors on board, even in base spec, will serve up a still respectable 408 hp.

Among other things, the Volvo and Polestar models are expected to offer Level 3, eyes-off and hands-off driving capabilities, developed with Luminar, at least in those markets where regulations will allow them.

The Polestar 3 will be an equally important launch for the brand, whose main volume model has been the Polestar 2 sedan thus far but has not achieved a scale similar to that of its main rival—the Tesla Model 3. And the brand itself has not yet achieved profitability.

"We are taking necessary steps to strengthen Polestar in the near term," said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. "While production of Polestar 3 will now start in the first quarter of 2024, the successful launch of Polestar 4 last month means that we add two strong offers in the attractive electric SUV market in 2024. I am confident that we will deliver on our growth ambitions and path towards profitability."

Will Volvo be able to convert most XC90 owners to the electric EX90 quickly, or will there still be a big audience for the automaker's internal-combustion SUVs? Let us know in the comments below.