Electrification Will Change Car Design

Fri 11th Dec 2020

Car designers of the future will have to factor in the differences between electric and combustion engines, which could significantly change the shape of cars according to one of the industry’s leading voices.

Speaking to Autocar, Volvo’s head of EMEA, Bjorn Annwall, has said that motor manufacturers will have to adapt.

“We need to adjust the design of our future cars to find the right balance between consumer appeal and functionality and range. The cars will look different in the future due to that,” Annwall said.

“The aerodynamics will become more important, especially if you drive at higher speeds on the motorway. They’re less important for city cars that are used for shorter distances because the aero doesn’t play such a big role here.”

The differences could see vehicles which drive on motorways needing to have slicker aerodynamics, while urban vehicles could have different shapes not so dependent on a drag coefficient, that’s because long-term fast driving on a major road will drain batteries faster.

Meanwhile, the Volvo boss has also reflected many others in the industry by confirming that PHEVs will only ever be a stop-gap and that the Swedish company is fully committed to an all-electric future.

He said: “For us, long term, it’s a full-electric future. PHEVs are a transition and a stepping stone. The only question is how long that [transition] is. Five years, 10 years – we don’t know how long. But the sooner Volvo becomes electric, the better Volvo is going to be in winning in the premium segment.”