The combustion engine has played a considerable role in determining the design form of cars over the last century. With vehicles based around battery technology, which is often incorporated in a ‘skateboard design’, the form factor of cars is set to change significantly.
The Future of EV Design
Having been fortunate to have been involved with the engineering design of electric vehicles and the Riversimple hydrogen fuel cell Rasa, I have enjoyed these exciting pieces of work after many years of traditional fossil fuel burning internal combustion engine vehicle projects.
As most of my career has been in the design and often the build of performance sports cars and super-cars where the balance of the car is a high priority it has been interesting to consider the new package opportunities/challenges that have come to light with EV vehicle design.
Pure EV’s are still somewhat hindered with heavy batteries for any decent range ability but this battery technology will improve power/density and then we can reduce the overall weight of these vehicles. They do however benefit greatly as performance cars with instantaneous and the massive torque available.
For me fossil fuel burning hybrid vehicles are necessarily over complicated and in my opinion will be short lived. (fancy dragging around an on-board generator + fuel)
The Tesla model S especially the P90/100D is an awesome performance sedan or Qwest shooting brake, and these weigh 2,6 tons so it would be great to take the model S “skate board” chassis/floor complete with 4WD motors, batteries and build a super light weight carbon fibre two seat occupant safety cell that connects the strut tops with structure and new reduced glass house/doors to further minimise the vehicle weight but maybe that’ll be the model Y? Acceleration should be manic!
With the rapidly expanding EV charging network underway we should have a much reduced range anxiety issue within just a couple of years to make EV ownership even more desirable. What a bright future.
by Jim Router
The Future of EV Design
“The motor industry is currently going through the greatest changes and challenges of its 100-year history. The world of electrification, digitisation and autonomy are upon us. Each function demanding different aspects of our motor cars and each demanding new lines of thought and creativity.
By removing so many of the conventions inherent with internal combustion engine vehicles, the electric package provides us with a design freedom like never before and the opportunity to embrace new design language and new proportions.
The advent of electric vehicles in the mass market will bring an abundance of cars designed from a completely different point of view. Many consumers have the impression that electric cars will be similar to today’s transport and in some ways, less exciting. This will not be the case. As today, we will see an eclectic mix of cars but fundamentally each will be quite different from today’s vehicles, in their layout and of course performance.
Yes, I am sure we will see autonomous pods. But also supercars. The notion of desirability and the pleasure of driving will prevail and with premium electric cars, consumers will always demand a certain luxury, serenity, and ambience.
People identify with great design and will always want great design. The electric car story for myself and Jaguar clearly starts with the I-PACE, but with the number of EVs predicted to grow from 3 million to 125 million worldwide by 2030 the possibilities are endless – and I for one am hugely excited to see what the future will bring.”