Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Back to boxy! 2023 Volvo EM90 people mover revealed in full detail as Swedish brand enters the luxury van segment

Previously seen via Chinese government approval documents, the EM90 van is now official.

Volvo has officially detailed its first people mover, the EM90, after months of official teasers and images of the vehicle being inadvertently made public via the Chinese government’s vehicle approval documents.

And that makes sense, given the Volvo EM90 electric people mover isn’t actually 100 per cent Volvo - it’s a rebadged and remodelled version of a van from another brand under the Geely parent company umbrella, the Zeekr 009.

While the Zeekr is available only in China, Volvo’s press release for the launch of the EM90 suggests the ‘Swedish’ version of the van will be available in other markets after “coming first to China”.

Volvo has confirmed its technical specifications - a large 116kWh battery provides power to its 200kW electric motor, the system providing a claimed range of 738km - tested under China’s CLTC cycle which is infamously less strict than the WLTP test.

It’s claimed charge time from 10 to 80 per cent is expected to be just less than half an hour, though Volvo doesn’t specify a maximum charge rate. It can be used, however, for bi-directional charging.

For maximum range, a set of either 19- or 20-inch aero wheels are fitted, the former likely to allow slightly longer drives between charges.

A system featuring an ‘all-round sensor set with high-definition cameras’ is helped by radars to give the safety system as many eyes as possible.

Inside, a 21-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system, roof-mounted 15.6-inch screen and lounge seats can turn the passenger cabin into somewhat of a rolling cinema, while the driver has use of a 15.4-inch multimedia screen for vehicle functions.

The move makes sense on paper for the brand, as premium people movers are increasing in popularity, especially in China where Volvo has strong ties via its parent company Geely.

“With the EM90, we're taking Volvo Cars' heritage and leadership in safety into the exciting new electric MPV segment,” said Volvo CEO Jim Rowan. 

“It allows us to tap new market demand we’ve not explored before and broadens the appeal of the Volvo brand to more people.”

As is often the case with luxury passenger vans, the EM90 is being touted as somewhat of a ‘loungeroom on wheels’, or as Rowan puts it, “a place to connect with your loved ones, to truly be yourself”.

“It’s this feeling of home that inspired our new EM90, a car with room for life.”

While there are hints the EM90 may become available in other markets after China given the language used in the press material, Australia isn’t locked in after CarsGuide recently contacted Volvo Australia enquiring about the model.

“The Volvo EM90 will make its global debut on 12 November 2023. The vehicle is intended for mainland China only. Other markets are yet to be decided,” a spokesperson confirmed to CarsGuide.

If the EM90 did come to Australia, it would rival the yet-to-arrive Lexus LM luxury people mover.