The all-electric SUV was expected to hit showrooms in early 2024, but now it won’t start production until the first half of the year. The reason? Software, of course.
Volvo announced that it was delaying production for its next-generation flagship electric SUV, the 2024 EX90, citing a need for further “software testing and development.”
The EX90, a seven-seater luxury family-mover with 300 miles of range and a starting price under $80,000, was expected to go into production in late 2023 and hit showroom floors in early 2024. Now production won’t start until the first half of 2024, the Swedish automaker said in a statement. That likely means customers won’t take delivery until the second half of the year.
“Demand for the Volvo EX90 remains high and to ensure a high-quality introduction of the car and to maximize customer benefit from its technology from day 1, Volvo Cars needs additional time in software development and testing and is adjusting the planned start of production timing,” Volvo said.
When it was first introduced in late 2022, the EX90 stood out as one of the most computationally advanced vehicles ever made. That was evident in the suppliers that Volvo had chosen to build out the vehicle’s software-rich features, including Nvidia, Luminar, and Qualcomm, among others.
But now that the EX90 is getting delayed because of its software demands, some of those partners quickly denying any involvement in the decision. Luminar, for example, put out a statement noting that the timing shift was “unrelated to Luminar.”
Luminar makes laser sensors called lidar that can help generate a 3D map of the environment around the car for active safety features and autonomous driving. Volvo is one of the few automakers to include lidar, calling it an essential ingredient in its quest to completely eliminate traffic fatalities. The EX90’s lidar will have a range of 250 meters with the ability to detect something as small and dark as a tire on a black road 120 meters ahead, all while driving at highway speeds.
This isn’t the first time that software problems have snarled vehicle production schedules. Volvo’s first long-range EV, the XC40 Recharge, was delayed at US ports in early 2021 because the company had to wait to ship a crucial software update before releasing them to customers and dealers. Volkswagen, Ford, and others have seen timetables shift and recall issued as a result of software snafus.