Volvo EX90 flagship EV to carry big sales load in U.S.

The EX90 will be sold alongside the mild and plug-in hybrid versions of the XC90 crossover.

With its new EV, Volvo joins a bustling segment in which Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and BMW currently elbow for market share.

According to data from Experian Automotive, the share of EV registrations in the U.S. has surged more than 85 percent in the first nine months of the year.

Gustafsson expects the EX90 to appeal to Volvo loyalists looking for zero-emission transportation.

“I’m convinced that the highest share will come from our current XC90 customers,” he said.

Gustafsson also sees Volvo XC40 and XC60 crossover customers upgrading to larger vehicles as their families grow.

Ernie Norcross, Volvo retail advisory board chairman, said the family hauler hits the sweet spot in the U.S. market.

“As the market moves toward a more friendly BEV market, we’re setting ourselves up for success with this vehicle,” said Norcross, owner of Volvo Cars Memphis in Tennessee.

New Jersey Volvo dealer Matthew Haiken describes the EX90 as an “evolution” of the XC90, which led the large premium crossover segment through the first nine months of the year.

The EX90, one of the few three-row EVs, will be aimed at the mainstream EV market, said Haiken, owner of Prestige Collection, which operates two Volvo stores in East Hanover and Englewood.

“This is the EV for the masses,” he said. “We think we could do great volumes with it.”

But it will be more than a year before Volvo’s newest flagship arrives in U.S. stores.

“We would love to have the car sooner,” Norcross said. “[But] we want to make sure this car is right; we want it to be on the money.”

The long lead time, Gustafsson said, will help build awareness and enthusiasm for the high-tech model, which includes lidar sensors for the first time in a Volvo, along with bidirectional charging capability.

The automaker will take the EX90 on a nationwide road show next year, using the “mobile showroom” to educate dealers and consumers on the new technology.

“To prepare for such a high volume of electric cars in our brand, we need to educate our dealers’ employees,” Gustafsson said.

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