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Why are most EV designs so terrible?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Tesla_Montreal, May 10, 2016.

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  1. Tesla_Montreal

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    #1 Tesla_Montreal, May 10, 2016
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
    With the exception of the Rimac and the Teslas, seems most EV designs are just god awful... Chevy Volt, Bolt, EV1, Leaf, i3 etc they can design a nice looking car but it's almost as if it's done on purpose to dissuade consumers from buying them, is it some type of conspiracy to make EV's look awful?



    Frank
     
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  2. garsh

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    Traditional automakers start with the premise that electric cars allow you to drive around cheaply, since electricity is less expensive than gasoline. So they decide to dip their toes into the EV water by designing an econobox. So they design a small car. At some point, they come to the realization that the car is going to cost twice as much as any other econobox, so they make it look "quirky" so that people will know that this is different - it's an EV!

    Tesla started with the premise that EVs are inherently better than internal combustion cars in every way, then they set out to prove it. They started at the high end, and made (somewhat conservative, but) desirable, sporty looking cars. As did Rimac, apparently (I had never heard of them until now).

    The i8 isn't an EV. It's a hybrid. And the exterior has too much of those same "quirky" superfluous additions that tell me it's trying too hard to be different. It looks better than a Leaf or an i3, but I think it looks worse than other cars in its class. So AFAIAC, BMW doesn't get it either.
     
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  3. TrevP

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    Pretty much what @garsh said. I'd add my $.02 worth...

    Protectionism of current products aside, I think the mentality of the car makers is that an EV has a different drive train therefore the design must also convey the message that this is a different car. The end result is generally designs that are teetering on "George Jetson" and thus turns off most buyers and public opinion.

    Tesla understood right from the beginning that "sex sells" and thus made their cars have an amounts of sex appeal with sleek, modern, clean designs that don't scream "I'm different". Show a Model S to anyone not aware of Tesla and they would never know it's an EV unless you told them. This fact keeps customers from turning away and the other little touches of whimsy cement it.

    Everyone has an opinion but as far as the others are concerned, the Volt (old or current one) is least offensive to me however I find the latest incarnation rather pedestrian and Honda Civic-like. The LEAF is just a quirkier version of a Versa. I happen to like the BMW i3 ;)

    The Bolt in production garb is a bit disappointing, I liked the concept more. Yes it still has the general shape but GM should have stuck with the Tesla "greenhouse". Glad we're getting that on the Model 3.

    One last thought: Think like a designer when you see the other cars. If you make the car small because you need to keep weight down to increase the range then you have compromises for the interior. You need the internal space. Therefore you don't have the length to spread out the interior so your only choice is to make it taller. That pretty much means a sharp cutoff hatchback and it's very very difficult to make those aerodynamic and sleek. The i3, Bolt, LEAF are all examples of this. The Volt has a fighting chance to be a good looking car but GM designs by committee.
     
  4. MelindaV

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    The roadster did a lot of screaming "look at me! I'm different" in a fantastic way.
     
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  5. garsh

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    In the "small sports car" segment, the roadster looked like just another Lotus. An observer would have no idea that it was electric.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Tesla_Montreal

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    Thanks for the reply, all great points. I was under the impression that EV's had less restraints given it's platform (essentially a flat board without an ICE, transmission) which allows you to "skin it" with more freedom. I just saw the 2016 Volt and have to say it looks much better (thought was a Civic also) and glad they're going towards the more mainstream look. You can be different and still look the same, perhaps it's a combination of having to make it more utilitarian due to the low range or technological constraints but seems if the cost of pressing a sheet of metal is the same, why would you not want to make it look good or at least the same as a ICE car. One of the coolest things is to see people take older cars and covert them to EV like an old Porsche 911 spyder or VW van or Lotus Elise à la Roadster, that should be hint enough I mean it's so clearly obvious, which is why I've always wondered if it was a conspiracy. Why don't they get it?!


     
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  7. AEDennis

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    This is the platform and pitch of upstart Faraday Future and its VPA (Variable Platform Architecture).

    Granted all they've launched for public consumption is the FFZERO1 concept.

    But, they share the same investors as LeEco (the company behind the concept LeSEE) touted as an autonomous "Tesla" killer, as these things are often marketed nowadays...

    LeSee_Photo_1.jpg LeSee_Photo_2.jpg LeSee_Photo_1.jpg LeSee_Photo_5.jpg LeSee_Photo_4.jpg
     
  8. Tesla_Montreal

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    Again... one of those Geo
    It's nice but...again, looks like one of those Jetsons-like concepts that'll never make it into production.
     
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  9. MelindaV

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    but it hooked me way back then because it was an EV all wrapped up in a Lotus.
     
  10. chopr147

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    I have said the same thing every time I see an EV. Before Tesla I had never seen an EV I would even think about buying. Even BMW, a quality, upscale car maker could not do better than this?
    It's a funky box with wheels. BMWi3.jpg
     
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  11. Mark C

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    I agree that the BMW i3 is a funky box with wheels, but I think it's kind of cool much like a few million people liked the original VW Beetle.

    That said, with it's new 33 kWh battery pack, I'd buy one, except for it costs hugely more today than the base Model 3 is going to cost. I fail to see the $15k extra value of the BMW name.
     
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  12. BigBri

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    Yeah this has been my frustration too. I would have leased an EV last year if I had any options. I totally get the ideas of an econobox but every single EV has odd designs outside of team Tesla. I used to think it was marketing to mellenials or maybe teens going off to university but it really just seems like regulatory compliance so they can keep selling ICE cars.
     
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  13. TrevP

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    #13 TrevP, Sep 29, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
    I think FF was under some kind of pressure from investors to show... something. Yeah, we were all expecting them to be like Tesla and actually show a production intent car and not some kind of wild concept. So FF is in the same books as everyone else in my opinion. I had high hopes for them but they haven't convinced me yet they're any different than the other car makers at this point. I'll keep an open mind though but fool me once...

    BMW decided to try something different with first first true EV (i3). You might balk at the high cost of the car compared to others but show me another production car with an all-carbon fibre body that requires lots of manufacturing steps. There's a lot of stuff going on under that car that is all new and is only scalable to lower-level stuff. BMW is investing heavily in carbon fibre and that tech developed on the i3 is making it's way into the rest of the line up. I like BMW a lot but I'm not making excuses for them. Sure the car should be cheaper and should have a 200 mile range but realities are that the form factor doesn't allow for a large battery like a Tesla and the looks department is hampered by a short wheel base. If you can put the looks aside for a moment and take one for a test drive I think you'd be pretty impressed with what it does deliver.

    I'm not one for conspiracies (car markers are making EVS look like shit so as to not kill their ICE car sales) but the whole "looks different" is coming from the mind set that that "this is a different drive train for us and it's futuristic so let's make the car look like that". I think it's pure and simple however a bit misguided as far as the public is concerned.

    Tesla got it right: make a sexy EV by using a lot of design elements from high end cars so give the car a premium look without it being "futuristic". It's no coincidence that a Model S/3 look like love children of Aston Martin, Jaguar, Porsche etc...

    I'm an unabashed lover of technology and not really put off by futuristic designs like the i3, new Mercedes EQ and VW ID. There are design elements from those that make sense and give the cars a fresh take on stodgy old design conventions however not everyone likes that and I get it. Given the direction that Mercedes, BMW and VW went with the interiors of their cars I can't understand why so many people are freaking out over the Model 3 interior which is very understated by comparison.

    Model 3:
    [​IMG]

    Mercedes EQ concept:
    [​IMG]

    VW ID Concept:


    Why the Germans are so obsessed with blue lighting and accents on their EVs however is beyond me ;)
     
  14. TrevP

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    [​IMG]
    And I thought the door sills on a Model S were borderline too high... Nice looking car though but the fascia should benefit from the new Tesla treatment.
     
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  15. Mark C

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    For my part, I think they spent too much time watching Tron
     
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  16. TrevP

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    Funny, I was thinking the same thing.
     
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    I admit I like the blue lights lol. I'm totally down for the way some of these concept cars look but they'll look very different in the end. Still it's something different from the toastermobiles we've seen so I'm happy.
     
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  18. MelindaV

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    I don't mind the style of the i3. Especially the interior appears to have some style and intention put into it that doesn't come off looking like an economy car (like the Bolt).
    However.... having done a couple fiberglass projects, and knowing how noxious the resins can be, it doesn't seem very enviro friendly/appropriate to use CF for the body - for weight reduction, absolutely.
     
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  19. chopr147

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    I have knocked the BMW i3 for it's looks and meager range but maybe I can be persuaded. Having driven one and having looked over it closely it is a funky, interesting car. I would not buy one before a Model 3 but can see the attraction for others. BMW is trying to extend the range and spending for EV R & D. Good for them and the rest of us. Tesla will have a huge advantage with their charging network for many years though.
     
  20. Michael Russo

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    It will be interesting to see what they do to the design... wow, only 25,000 last year... Trust they have higher ambitions for the new one...
    Again, BMW clearly teased by T≡SLA! :)
    Just like I wrote for Toyota, good luck to them too!
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN13M04W
     

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