Volvo Cars (VOLCARb.ST) launched its EX30 fully-electric small SUV on Wednesday with two battery options and a starting price of around 36,000 euros ($38,500), as carmakers compete with Tesla (TSLA.O) to make electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable.
The EX30, launched in Milan, is the smallest SUV to date from the Sweden-based manufacturer and follows the unveiling of the larger electric EX90 in November.
The starting price compares with over 40,000 euros for Tesla’s Model 3, the U.S. group’s cheapest car. Tesla has cut prices several times this year to try to boost demand as competition heats up among EV makers.
Volvo Cars’ CEO Jim Rowan has said the group didn’t need to follow Tesla on EV price cuts as market demand was healthy.
The carmaker – which aims for half of its sales volumes to be EVs by mid-decade and to only sell EV by 2030 – said the EX30 was one of its biggest business opportunities in the coming years.