The new Volvo EX30 small SUV will be produced in Europe as well as China from 2025, as part of a move to increase production capacity.
The new entry-level compact crossover will be a “cornerstone” of the Swedish brand's reinvention as an electric-only manufacturer by helping to attract new, younger customers.
Volvo had previously said that the EV, which is based on a version of parent firm Geely's SEA platform, would be built at its factory in Zhangjiakou, China.
Production started there earlier this year, and the first cars are due to reach customers latest this year. UK deliveries are set to begin in early 2024.
Volvo has now decided to start producing the EX30 at its existing factory in Ghent, Belgium from 2025 to increase global production capacity in line with its plan to build cars close to where they're sold.
Cars built at that plant will be used to meet anticipated EX30 demand in Europe – and will be exported globally. The Ghent plant currently produces the XC40 and its electric-only C40 Recharge sibling.
Volvo boss Jim Rowan said that the decision to build the EX30 in Europe was "a logical move as we aim to capture the strong demand" for the model.
The EX30, which will rival the Jeep Avenger and Smart #1, is available to order in the UK now priced from £33,795 including three years of free servicing. Subscription packages will start at £579 per month. Customer deliveries are due to start early next year.
As well as the standard versions, Volvo will also offer the EX30 in a jacked-up and rugged Cross Country version.
Volvo says the machine has been developed with a focus on lowering the total cost of ownership and attracting new, younger, urban buyers. Chief executive Jim Rowan claims the intention is to “bring premium, fully electric mobility to a much broader audience”.
Volvo expects around three-quarters of EX30 buyers will be new to the brand, with the majority buying it as a second car.
The firm also claims the machine has the smallest lifetime carbon footprint of any Volvo model to date and doesn’t compromise on the marque's famed commitment to safety. But the EX30 also offers performance: with a 0-62mph time of 3.6sec in top-spec Twin Motor Performance form, it is the fastest-accelerating Volvo yet.
Based on parent firm Geely’s SEA platform also used by the Polestar 4 and Smart #1, the EX30 is 4233mm long, making it slightly longer than the Avenger, but notably shorter than the Polestar 4.