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Wheels of the Week: New electric Volvo EX90

The auto maker says the fully electric EX90 is the start of a new era for Volvo Cars.

The new Volvo EX90 represents the start of a new era for the company, in which it is settin a decisive course for a fully electric future, says Swedish auto maker Volvo Cars.

“Starting with the Volvo EX90, we’ll reveal one new fully electric car each year,” the company said after unveiling theEX90. “By 2030, we aim to sell only fully electric cars, one of the most ambitious electrification blueprints in the automotive industry and crucial to our ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.”

Volvo revealed its new fully electric flagship SUV to the world in downtown Stockholm last week. 

However, the car will be built in the USA starting next year and later also in China. By then, Volvo aims for those two production facilities to be climate-neutral.

“The Volvo EX90 is a statement for where we are, and where we are going,” said CEO Jim Rowan.“It’s fully electric with a range of up to 600 kilometres on a single charge, designed to further raise our safety standards, the first Volvo car to be truly defined by its software and part of a wider ecosystem, connecting to your home and your other devices. The Volvo EX90 is the start of something new for Volvo Cars in many ways.”

The Volvo EX90 has an “invisible shield” of safety enabled by our latest sensing technology, inside and outside. State-of-the art sensors such as cameras, radars and lidar are connected to the car’s high-performance core computers, where Nvidia Drive runs Volvo Cars’ in-house software to create a real-time, 360-degree view of the world.

The sensors are designed to see small objects hundreds of metres ahead, creating more time to inform, act and avoid. The sensors also contribute to improve the reliability and overall performance of the assisted driving function, Pilot Assist, with a new steering support function while changing lanes.

Inside, special sensors and cameras, powered by in-house-developed algorithms, gauge eye gaze concentration. The technology allows the Volvo EX90 to understand when a driver is distracted, drowsy or otherwise inattentive, beyond what has been possible in a Volvo car to date.

It’ll alert the driver, first softly nudging, then more insistent. And if the unthinkable happens and one falls asleep or taken ill while driving, the Volvo EX90 is designed to safely stop and call for help.

A core system – powered by Nvidia Drive AI platforms Xavier and Orin, Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms from Qualcomm Technologies and in-house-developed software by Volvo engineers – runs most of the core functions inside the car, from safety and infotainment to battery management. The result is a more responsive and enjoyable experience inside the car.

A 14.5-inch centre screen is the gateway to one of the best infotainment systems on offer, with Google built in. Google apps and services, including hands-free help from Google Assistant, Google Maps navigation and other apps on Google Play, all come built in. The displays in the Volvo EX90 help keep eyes on the road by offering the right information at the right time. The Volvo EX90 will also be compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay.

The Volvo EX90 will also come with phone key technology as standard. A smartphone serves as car key and automatically unlocks the car and starts a personal welcoming sequence as one approaches.

The initially available twin-motor all-wheel-drive version is powered by a 111kWh battery and two permanent magnet electric motors together delivering in its performance version 380kW (517hp) and 910Nm of torque.

The Volvo EX90 is the company’s first car to enable bi-directional charging. This means one can use the car battery as an extra energy supply, for example to power a home, other electric devices or another electric Volvo car. The car can charge from 10 to 80 per cent battery capacity in under 30 minutes.

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