Volvo’s first electric minivan has a roof-mounted screen for movies and Zoom calls

Volvo EM90
(Image credit: Volvo)

Volvo has been busy teasing the EM90 for a number of months now, releasing images of its boxy silhouette and revealing how the "zero gravity cushions" employed in its seats look set to among some of the most comfortable in the world.

Now, the Swedish marque has fully unveiled its third all-electric model in the past twelve months, with the EM90 joining the EX30 and EX90 all-electric SUVs. Predominantly aimed at the Chinese market, where customers can already pre-order it, the EM90 is designed to move up to six people in opulent, tech-saturated surroundings.

Boasting a powerful 116kWh battery pack, it also manages a mightily impressive 738km (or just over 458-miles) on a single charge, according to the Chinese CLTC testing cycle. Volvo claims the charging time from 10 to 80 per cent is expected to be under 30 minutes.

It shares a similar propulsion system to that found on the recently released EX90 SUV, meaning a 268bhp electric motor powers the rear wheels, pushing the large people mover from 0-62mph in around 8.3-seconds.

Inside, it is very much set-up like a Business Class flying experience, with the middle seats boasting luxuries like tray tables, a massage program, heating and cooling functionality, as well as the ability to slide backwards and forwards or recline completely so passengers can get some rest. The row behind that is slightly more traditional, but still looks extremely comfortable.

Volvo made a big deal of its seats, focussing on the high levels of plushness and refinement. As we previously touched upon, the second-row lounge seats feature "zero gravity cushions" with a seven-layer structure and a thickness exceeding 120mm, including high-density damping layers for both comfort and support.

A living room on wheels

In addition to the cosseting cabin, there is also the next generation of in-car technology at play, with Qualcomm Technologies providing its latest Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms for an ultra-fast digital experience. It is constantly connected via the 5G network, so occupants can make the most of their time on the road.

To do so, there is an 15.6-inch HD display that folds down from the roof, which is equipped with a camera for business meetings, or it can be used to stream entertainment and act as a monitor to cast a smartphone screen. Volvo says it is compatible with "a variety" of third-party apps, but doesn’t go so far as to list them yet.

Most of the in-vehicle functionality can be operated via voice commands too, negating the need to prod physical buttons, with Volvo suggesting occupants can set up the interior like "a theatre, a meeting room, or a bedroom" using just vocal prompts. This will likely activate "scenes" whereby lights are dimmed, seats are reclined and the in-car infotainment system is deployed.

Finally, the Swedish automaker says the EM90 will "get better over time" with over-the-air updates. The first of which is the planned deployment of road noise cancellation, which will act like Active Noise Cancellation in headphones by playing opposite reversed sound waves through the in-car sound system to neutralize pesky road noise and tyre roar.

Currently, the EM90 is only available in China, where it costs 818,000 yuan (around $112,000 USD). Volvo hasn't committed to releasing the EM90 in any market outside of China for now, but with the recent rise in popularity for luxurious people movers (the Lexus LM is just one example), it might consider bringing it to the US and Europe if the demand is there.

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Leon Poultney

Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.