Tech

EVs are Roomier and Here’s Why

Spacious interiors and plenty of cargo space are popular features of electric vehicles.

From the outside, electric vehicles may seem like small toys compared to large gasoline vehicles. While some may look small on the outside and fit better into smaller parking spaces, don’t let their size fool you: EVs actually pack the most space into the least amount of space.

That’s because less is more when it comes to electric vehicles: They have more room than their gas-powered counterparts because electric vehicles have fewer moving parts. In addition, advances in design and technology often reduce the size of many vehicle parts, giving electric vehicles more space for passengers and cargo.

The absolute beginner’s guide to electric vehicles

No motor = more space

Gasoline vehicles have always been designed to include a variety of large parts such as engines, gas tanks, multi-speed gearboxes, exhaust systems, catalytic converters, etc.

However, electric vehicles just don’t need all those big parts.

  • Since they don’t burn fuel, they don’t require an exhaust system or catalytic converter.
  • There is no radiator on an electric vehicle, so a grille is not necessary.
  • Electric vehicle motors are also single speed, eliminating the need for a transmission or gearbox.
  • It is also missing smaller parts such as spark plugs, a timing belt and fuel injectors.

The biggest key to a spacious interior is the fact that electric vehicles use a small electric motor and rechargeable battery rather than a large motor to power the vehicle. This means that the overall design of the electric vehicle can be modified not only to improve performance, but also to offer a land more space for the driver and passengers.

Without that big gas engine taking up so much space under the hood, every part of the cabin can be made bigger. This means that the front seats can be adjusted further forward in an electric vehicle compared to a gasoline car. As they climb in, rear-seat passengers can stretch out with more legroom.

Where is the “hump” of the interior floor?

2022 Ford F150 EV rendering with exposed bed and seats removed.

Ford

The advantage of additional interior space continues to come with electric vehicles. Without the need for a transmission, differential, or exhaust system, the center floor tunnel hump seen on gas cars can be removed for more legroom inside. rear of electric vehicles.

Many electric vehicles do away with it altogether, but some use a smaller version of this tunnel to house batteries, storage compartments, or other features.

However, when this tunnel is removed, it gives the interior of an electric vehicle the feeling of expanded space. Rear passengers don’t have to raise their knees, for example, to sit in the back seat, and everyday items like grocery bags or backpacks can fit more easily in the back seat. rear area of ​​the floor.

A full-size interior with a mid-size body: the impact of the skateboard effect on the EV space

The platform

VW’s “skateboard” platform.

Sean Gallup/Getty

Clever design is another reason electric vehicles are roomier than gasoline cars. VW, Ford and other electric vehicle manufacturers use a design called the Skateboard System. This system gives EVs a space advantage due to where the wheels are placed on an EV.

Think of a gas-powered car as a pair of roller skates and an electric vehicle as a skateboard. In a pair of skates, the wheels are placed fairly close together under the body of the skate. There is not a lot of space between the front and rear wheels; everything is tight between them.

The wheels of a skateboard, on the other hand, are much further apart under the skateboard deck. Electric vehicles still fit everything between the wheels, just like a gas-powered car, but the difference in wheel-gap layout means there’s a lot more room to play inside.

An illustration comparing a gasoline-powered car to an electric vehicle, showing the increased interior and trunk space of an electric vehicle.

julie bang

Batteries, brakes, motors, and other vital parts are distributed throughout the “skateboard” deck, usually inside the platform to leave a flat base for the exterior frame and interior design of the EV. Along with expanded interior space, the skateboard approach also gives electric vehicles a lower center of gravity than gasoline-powered cars, improving overall vehicle handling.

Combine that with the fact that electric vehicles require far fewer parts than a gas-powered car and you can quickly see interior space expand. With this approach to skateboard design, electric vehicle manufacturers can position vital parts wherever they want on the base car platform and arrange seating and storage spaces in the format of their choice.

Gasoline cars, on the other hand, put the engine and steering systems on top of the flatbed, and must add all other parts on top of the flatbed as well. Everything else also sits on top of the flat bottom of a petrol car, which still limits interior space.

EV car manufacturers continue to create improved variations of the skateboard design with each new version focused on creating more and more comfort for the driver and passengers.

For example, Ree, an Israeli electric vehicle manufacturer, offers a design that allows buyers to build a custom electric vehicle using a modular approach, in the same way that modular homes can be built by assembling prefabricated parts in different layouts.

In the video, you can see how Ree’s EV’s “skateboard” designed deck has everything you need to propel the vehicle, giving the car a flat base to create any type of interior design. desire.

Other EV carmakers are using the skateboard approach as a reusable base for multiple EV body types, improving production times and lowering manufacturing costs.

The double trunk trick: pack more things with the greater capacity of the electric vehicle

A large bike in the trunk of a 2022 Nissan Leaf.

Because of the way the skateboard design incorporates moving parts into the base deck, there is more room for storage in the front under the hood where the engine used to go.

Ford F150 2022 front trunk.

Ford

Very often, EV car manufacturers create a front trunk (sometimes called a ‘frunk’) to use space efficiently. There’s also usually a rear trunk on an EV, giving many EVs a double trunk for storage.


For example, the 2022 Nissan Leaf has 23.6 cubic feet of space; 30 if you include the rear seat flex area. There are emergency latches inside larger chests and many can be opened wirelessly.

Some front trunks have dividers so things don’t move around; Spare cargo nets or elastic belts can also be added to help keep items firmly in place.

An average electric SUV with about 30 square feet of storage space (without the rear seats folded down) can easily fit two carry-ons, two large suitcase-sized bags, and a duffel bag or soft backpack. .

The rear windows usually won’t lock even after all the luggage is loaded, so there’s still plenty of room inside for family members to enjoy the ride.

Newer electric vehicles, like the Mustang Mach-e, offer functionality for drivers who like to take advantage of tailgate or “frunkgate” parties. The Mach-e frunk has a drainage hole, allowing owners to fill the frunk with ice to keep drinks or food cold and drain melted ice out the bottom.

Even a compact EV hatchback can offer large amounts of storage. With the seats folded down in a compact electric vehicle, a Christmas tree or even a bicycle can fit perfectly.

The front truck may also be referred to as the front cargo compartment. In Europe and the UK, where the trunk is referred to as the “trunk”, they may refer to the front trunk or storage space.

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