With Its New EX30, Volvo Australia Isn’t Worried About Tesla’s Competitive Price Drops

With Its New EX30, Volvo Australia Isn’t Worried About Tesla’s Competitive Price Drops

I’m very excited for the Volvo EX30. I’ve long been a fan of the Polestar 2, the first car from Volvo’s newer sister brand that shared a platform with Volvo. While Polestar has two cars releasing in 2024 down under, my attention is mostly towards the Volvo EX30, because it represents an extreme shift in direction for the company, and it’s fairly competitive against market leader Tesla.

In case you didn’t know, Volvo’s got an ambitious two years ahead of it. Every new model released in Australia from here on out will be all-electric – no petrol, no PHEVs. The company also won’t sell any non-electric cars in Australia from 2026.

On top of that, the EX30 is also the cheapest and smallest EV Volvo has ever sold, and it brings in a bold new visual style, both on the inside and out. It looks much fresher than its more expensive brother, the XC40, and it has styling cues that make it seem more like its cousin, the Polestar 2. Polestar has its transformation going on as well, while Volvo is releasing the cheapest EV it has ever made, Polestar is looking to Porsche as a major competitor, with its new SUV priced at the high end.

Volvo invited Gizmodo Australia to check out the new car in person, and it did not disappoint. We spoke with Volvo Australia director, Stephen Connor, about Volvo’s new direction with the car.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

The elephant in the room

The big story over the past month for electric cars has been Tesla and its constant price adjustments. In early April, prices for some Model 3 and Model Y models were dropped, and then in late April, prices dropped again – to the point now that the Model 3 and Model Y are now the cheapest that they’ve ever been in Australia.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

I was curious what this approach meant for Volvo – a company that, historically, has done no such thing, while Tesla’s price adjustments have been common over the past two years. Connor’s response? It’s just not Volvo’s business model.

“We don’t bring our pricing strategy based on all of our competitors, we bring our pricing strategy for the marketplace. Otherwise, you end up with a downward spiral,” Connor said.

“There’s no value in what they’re trying to do. They’re just trying to sell a product to get into the marketplace by volume. We’re not going to sell our cars in huge volume. We will do this year, about 12,500 cars, next year and about 13,500 cars, so we’ve got a marginal growth expectation over the next five years. Why? Because we don’t want to flood the market, we don’t need to.”

Connor added that Volvo prices the cars based on the technology and safety built in, along with broad category markers for price points, indicating a rough market between $60,000 and $90,000 for its customers.

“We’re not going to suddenly drop the price of the car. One, we don’t need to. Two, if we start to drop the price of the car, you have to then start to take kit out of the car, and what’s the point of that?”

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Going electric

Volvo isn’t typically known for being too far ahead in terms of aesthetics, but the EX30 brings the company ahead from front to back. Going forward, the new Volvos will have a similar design to this car. It’s a ‘small SUV’, which means it’s a hatchback with its roof going all the way to the back, and it’s being released in a colour that Volvo has never really released before (see below). Don’t worry; black, grey, and white will be part of the mix.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

It’s a departure from Volvo’s aesthetic with the XC40, XC60, and XC90, which were all models available in petrol and electric – but because the EX30 is only sold as electric, it can be designed to be so – which is why the grille is absent. You may also notice design cues with the EX30 that are familiar if you’re a Polestar fan, but the platform of the EX30 is shared with Volvo’s parent company Geely.

“There are bigger plans to maximise all of our platforms,” Connor told Gizmodo Australia. “We’ve got plans for other platforms as well… Different platforms will obviously benefit different cars.”

After the EX30, Volvo is releasing the EX90 (set for Q1 2025), and then after that, Volvo says that there’s another car that’s ‘bigger’ than the EX30 coming, probably a car that meets the middle between the EX90’s extreme size and the 30’s ‘small’ title. Connor said it was a “nice size”.

After that car, Connor said it’s likely that Volvo would be looking to revamp the rest of the company’s lineup. The director would love to see an electric Volvo sedan, but the focus on SUVs is down to consumer demand (but with electric sedans quite popular, the company may be interested in developing one in the future). The China-exclusive EM90 is not on the cards at the moment.

EX-30 in white. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

The company is also in discussions to release a limited edition variant of the XC90, but after that, the all-electric EX40 (the new XC40), EC40 (the new C40), and sometime after, the EX60 will be next up.

“Every new model that we release from here on out will be fully electric. That’s the important part,” Connor added.

Is the Volvo EX30 an ‘everything car’?

I’m never going to get off the ‘everything car’ soapbox. In my opinion, an electric car should be able to facilitate as broad a lifestyle as possible, without needing to be labelled a ‘city car’ – as so many seem to be. Australia’s towns and cities are too spread out and charging networks are too unreliable to take EVs with limited range on a trek without frustration.

Volvo Australia’s director takes a different view. While families can use the car, he did note that some families might want a bigger car for weekend treks. Thankfully, the rest of the Volvo lineup are all bigger cars.

“It doesn’t matter the size of the family, it can be a family car,” Connor said. “It’s not going to suit everybody – we’d be naive to think this is the car for everybody. The way the market will go here, and this my personal view, I think what we’ll end up doing is people will have one of these in their driveway, as a local ‘zip around, pop into town, pop into city, drop the kids off at school’, and then they’ll probably migrate to a bigger car for the weekends as well.”

A nicer, larger screen in the middle is a nice change from the XC40’s older looking interior. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

I brought up a talk that Connor gave at SXSW Sydney last year, in which he was talking about offering cars as a service, with an approach from the manufacturer that he likens similarly to phones. He said that the technology built into the EX30, which includes video streaming (when the car is stopped), browsing, and music playback all lends itself to the philosophy of a lifestyle change with cars in mind.

“[Cars] need to be more than just a car,” Connor said. “Gone are the days that we buy a car practically to take us from A to B, they become part of our lifestyle. I sit in my XC60 sometimes in between meetings cause I can’t get from one office to the other, I’ve got my laptop on, I’ve Bluetoothed it to the Wi-Fi, and I’m sitting there doing my work – and that’s what we need,” Connor said.

“I’m not saying that’s for everybody the technology in this it becomes more than just a car.”

Despite being a small SUV, it’s quite a comfortable car to sit in. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Did I mention I’m excited about the Volvo EX30?

The Volvo EX30 is expected to release in Australia towards the end of 2024. It’ll be available in RWD and AWD, starting at MSRP $59,990 for the Plus (available in RWD), and $66,290 for the Ultra RWD ($71,290 for the AWD). The ‘Moss Yellow’ colour, along with all other exterior and interior colour options, are free to apply at no additional cost.

Considering how much we loved the Polestar 2 and its 2024 refresh, it looks to be an exciting option for prospective EV buyers.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.