Nature study

The new Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30 exterior

Distinct Scandinavian design, comfort, safety and a sustainable choice of materials—the new Volvo EX30 offers everything you would expect from a fully electric SUV from the Swedish premium brand—in a more compact format than ever before.

The great Michelangelo is said to have claimed that a form is already hidden in the stone and is simply waiting to be freed by man, hammer and chisel—all that is needed is to knock away the superfluous. Katharina Sachs, Senior Exterior Designer at Volvo Cars, probably takes a similar view when she says that the work of a designer is similar to that of a sculptor, because one of the special challenges in design is to harmonize form and function and to free their harmonious combination from superfluous details. It also seems fitting that she cites the moss-covered, velvety green-yellow shimmering stones, which are abundant in the Swedish landscape and therefore easy to overlook, as one of the sources of inspiration for the new Volvo EX30 —robust, self-contained, close to nature.

The formal language of nature has always been regarded not only as a natural source of inspiration, but also sets creative processes in motion and promotes innovation in the sense of a solution-oriented design approach. According to Sachs, finding a connection between heart and mind is the top priority in car design. It almost seems to be a matter close to her heart to place particular value on closeness to nature and emotional connection in the design process. With this in mind, the windows of the new EX30, for example, have been opened as far as possible to allow maximum natural light into the vehicle.

The moss, crystal, pine and indigo tones of the exterior and interior colors of the compact SUV were, how could it be otherwise, borrowed from the Swedish landscape. And in order to make the calming effect of Scandinavian nature as tangible as possible, there is also the option of simulating it with the interior sound and lighting in the passenger compartment.

Besides heart, mind is also a fundamental keyword when it comes to the minimalistically designed interior of the EX30, which strives for maximum sustainability. This is of course leather-free, with a focus on bio-based, recycled and renewable natural materials such as denim, flax and wool. The use of Pixel Knit, made with a flat knitting machine and consisting of 100% recycled polyester, and Nordico can also be categorized as innovative. The latter is a progressive and technically advanced material developed by Volvo, consisting of recycled PET bottles and organically grown material (pine oil) from Swedish and Finnish forests.

Under the creative direction of Katharina Sachs, Volvo has shown with the EX30 that nature and art, study and execution, have always complemented each other—some things are carved in stone. [DM]