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Wheels of the Week: Looking after Earth, one Volvo at a time

The EX30 electric vehicle stays true to Volvo’s clean and sophisticated aesthetic, writes SHERYL GOLDSTUCK.

The Volvo EX30 electric vehicle is that car that says “Hey, I care about the planet, and I look good doing it.”  

Despite its compact exterior, the EX30’s interior feels surprisingly roomy. There is ample head and legroom for both front and back seat passengers, making it a great choice for small families or a group of friends on an eco-conscious road trip. The seats themselves are plush and supportive, keeping you comfortable even on long commutes. The upholstery is made from renewable and recycled materials. Even the mats are made from fishing nets and other discarded waste.

Let me talk about the electric elephant in the room – or should I say, the battery under the hood? The EX30 offers two battery pack options, giving you a choice between range and pure power. The base model boasts a zippy electric motor that scoots around town with ease, while the higher-end option offers a bit more muscle for highway cruising. No matter which option you choose, you will be impressed by the smooth and silent ride – a welcome change from the fuel-guzzlers of yesteryear. 

Regenerative braking helps you top up the battery while you drive, making those stop-and-go commutes less wasteful. The single-pedal driving mode (where regen braking slows the car significantly when you lift off the petrol) was a bit too sensitive at first. It takes some getting used to, but hey, saving the planet takes a little practice, right?

The EX30 boasts a user-friendly touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The graphics are crisp, the menus are intuitive, and the voice control system works well.

Only having controls on the central console or infotainment system can be a bit disconcerting, especially when driving at night. I am used to the driver console lighting up the cabin at night when I drive, but the Volvo EX 30 is all about being compact and sophisticated. It takes some getting used to looking to your left to see what your speed is.

Ultimately, the Volvo EX30 is a solid choice for eco-conscious families, young professionals, or anyone who wants to make a statement without breaking the bank. It is a fun, practical, and sustainable way to get around town and, with Volvo’s reputation for safety, you can be sure you are in good hands (while reducing your carbon footprint) at every step of the pedal.

Key facts about the Volvo EX30:  electric range is up to 480km; estimated DC fast-charging is 26 minutes; energy consumption is 15.7kWh per 100km. Pricing starts at R775,900.

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