EVs Give Automakers Liberty While Designing Cars

For decades, car makers have adhered to a relatively similar vehicle design. They were forced to work around an internal combustion engine and transmission, and they had to ensure that powertrains, either gas, diesel, or later on hybrid, had enough room to spin and breathe. The result was often vehicles with reduced or cramped cabin space and large grills at the front to ensure proper airflow. This has been the norm for decades, and until recently, automakers did not stray from this design.

With the advent of zero-emission electric vehicles (“EVs”), car makers are now at liberty to exercise their creativity. Instead of an internal combustion engine (“ICE”), electric cars are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, eliminating hundreds of the moving parts that accompany an ICE. Now that they don’t have to design vehicles with ICE engines in mind, automakers have been able to develop new, dedicated platforms, resulting in vehicle designs never before seen on our roads.

When the first electric vehicle models hit the roads, their makers often utilized existing vehicle platforms, installing the electric powertrains where the engines and transmissions used to be. Even Tesla, which has come up with some revolutionary vehicle designers, first used a heavily retrofitted Lotus Elise sans its 1.8-liter inline-four engine for the Tesla Roadster. However, these pre-existing designs weren’t suited for battery electric vehicles, and automakers couldn’t position the battery and motor suitably, forcing many of them to stack the batteries under the rear seat and install the motor under the hood.

As such, many early EV models had limited leg room or cargo space compared to their petrol and diesel-powered counterparts. Since then, dedicated electric vehicle platforms have changed the game, with EV makers now using the skateboard platform that uses a flat battery along the bottom of the car and motors at the axles. Furthermore, these platforms are scalable, allowing carmakers to use them for small sedans as well as SUVs and electric pickup trucks.

Now, EV makers can design vehicles with tons of cabin space and, with both the hood and the trunk empty, lots of cargo storage. The recently unveiled F-150 Lightning pickup took this to the extreme, providing a whopping 1,000 pounds of weatherproof storage space. And without an engine and transmission, automakers do not have to install grills at the front. While some have done so for aesthetics, others such as Tesla have gone a different route. The Tesla Model 3 completely eliminated the front grille.

In fact, as electric vehicles become more common and accessible, you can expect lots of revolutionary designs. The Cybertruck, for instance, sports an interesting design while EV startup Aptera has unveiled a three-wheeled electric vehicle that looks as if it came straight out of a science fiction movie. Now that they aren’t shackled to a rigid design, carmakers are only limited by their own creativity.

This creativity is likely to increase a lot more as companies such as Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) from outside the auto industry merge with electric vehicle makers to leverage their varied experiences and competences.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE

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