STOCKHOLM -- A key to helping Volvo Cars' EVs achieve price parity with comparable combustion-powered models will be an affordable small crossover the automaker plans to reveal in 2023.
Volvo showed a teaser image of the vehicle at the end of its introduction of the new EX90 flagship electric large crossover here Wednesday.
The EV will be a "city car aimed at a younger demographic who can subscribe to it and make it their first Volvo," CEO Jim Rowan told Automotive News Europe.
"If we can get them in as first-time Volvo owners then we can try to maintain them as customers" as they marry and start families and require bigger vehicles, such as the EX90, Rowan said. But the flagship is not an option for first-time car owners with starting prices in the $100,000 range.
In Europe, Volvo sibling brand Lynk & CO sells its 01 plug-in hybrid, a derivative of the Volvo XC40, via a subscription plan that costs 550 euros a month in Germany.
Volvo's next EV is also poised to be a key contributor to the automaker reaching a goal of selling 600,000 battery-powered vehicles by 2025, up from about 40,500 through 10 months of this year.
Volvo has had recent success moving into lower segments. The XC40 became its No. 2-seller globally in 2019, two years after its debut, providing the brand with the boost it needed to reach its highest global sales total ever that year at 705,452. Today, the XC40 accounts for 26 percent of the brand's worldwide volume.
Volvo previously announced plans for the small crossover, which will slot in below its XC40 compact crossover and C40 compact crossover, that it said would share the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) that the Swedish automaker helped parent Zhejiang Geely Holding develop.
Smart's #1, the first car from the brand's new status as an electric-only joint venture between Geely and Mercedes-Benz, is on track to join Europe's nascent small premium crossover segment in early 2023. The only other model in the niche is the DS 3 E-Tense.
The #1 marks the first appearance of Geely's SEA electric vehicle architecture in Europe. The scalable platform can be adapted for nearly every segment size. Eventually, it will underpin vehicles from six or seven Geely brands, the automaker says.
The #1 is built in Smart's factory in Xi'an, China, and will be exported to Europe.