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HomeFeaturesThe Volvo EX30 proves South Africans want electric cars – If the price is right

The Volvo EX30 proves South Africans want electric cars – If the price is right

The Volvo EX30 has already beaten the sales achieved by the most popular electric vehicle (EV) in South Africa in the whole of 2023 by an incredible 66%.

The EX30 was officially launched in South Africa in February 2024 but has been available to pre-order since June 2023, and many South Africans have evidently taken up the company on its offer with hundreds of orders being placed.

The carmaker’s local division recently confirmed to MyBroadband that it had received an initial allocation of 500 units for our market and that roughly half of these have already been booked.

This means that the EX30 has already secured an estimated 250 customers, putting it 100 units ahead of the best-selling EV of 2023 – the Volvo XC40 Recharge – which sold 150 units in 12 months, an improvement of 66.67%.

Getting the price right

The main appeal of the Volvo EX30 lies in its price tag, which ranges from R775,900 to R995,900, making it one of the most affordable EVs in the country.

It is not the cheapest EV on the market, as that title belongs to the GWM Ora hatchback which starts at R686,950 and may soon be undercut by the incoming BYD Dolphin, which is expected to cost R550,000 when it arrives here.

However, the EX30 has a few things going for it, as it comes from a premium brand with an established presence; and it is a crossover, which has quickly established itself as the most popular body type for consumers.

The Volvo is actually the second-cheapest electric crossover in South Africa, costing only R7,900 more than the BYD Atto 3, and both of these options are far more affordable than anything that came before them.

Of course, R775,900 is still a steep asking price for the average salary, but it is more than R300,000 less than the previous “entry-level” electric SUV, the Volvo XC40, which now retails for R1,108,000.

In other words, models like the EX30 have significantly lowered the barrier to entry for electric cars for local motorists, and it’s clear that many are willing to give EVs a try now that the starting price is much closer to other premium SUVs with internal combustion engines (ICE) burning petrol and diesel.

The first EX30 customer cars are scheduled to arrive on local shores in early April, and Volvo Cars South Africa managing director Greg Maruszewski confirmed that the company has managed to secure additional production slots for our market thanks to the positive reception.

What’s popular

The company additionally revealed that the overwhelming majority of local EX30 buyers went for the Twin Motor Performance version.

“Only about 13% of total customer orders so far are for the Single Motor Core version, with 60% being for the Twin Motor Performance variant, and the rest the Single Motor Extended Range,” said Maruszewski.

As a reference, the crossover has a total of five specifications, which you can see below:

  • Volvo EX30 Core Single Motor – R775,900
  • Volvo EX30 Plus Single Extended Range – R865,900
  • Volvo EX30 Plus Twin Motor Performance – R935,900
  • Volvo EX30 Ultra Single Motor Extended Range – R965,900
  • Volvo EX30 Ultra Twin Motor Performance – R995,900

The single motor produces 200kW and 343Nm and can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, while the twin-motor setup generates 315kW and 543Nm with a lightning-quick 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds, making it the fastest accelerating Volvo ever.

The standard 51kWh battery affords a range of 344km, but the 69kWh extended-range cell will improve this to 480km.

Maruszewski said that the company is not worried about the significantly more affordable EX30 undermining the sales of the XC40 as it believes the two appeal to different audiences and that individuals who were always interested in the XC40 are unlikely to be swayed by its cheaper counterpart.

The company is also planning to launch the flagship EX90 seven-seater SUV in South Africa, which should arrive in the final quarter of 2024, though no pricing information is available at this stage.

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