Electric cars are an obvious example. Electric motors can be in the wheels, under the floor, or on the axles. Designers will no longer have to accommodate big engines, gearboxes, and fuel tanks, but just an electric motor and its batteries. Designers will be free to have more fun; to be more experimental. An example is the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace, which will go on sale in South Africa early in 2019. “The I-Pace’s electric powertrain offered us unprecedented design freedom,” says Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design. “Starting with a clean sheet enabled the dramatic cab-forward profile, unique proportions, and exceptional interior space — yet it is unmistakably a Jaguar. We wanted to design the world’s most desirable electric vehicle, and I’m confident we’ve met that challenge.”
The focus is often on the exterior, but we can expect major changes in the interiors too. Volkswagen is preparing to launch its new ID electric vehicle brand with 20 battery-electric models by 2025. One of these is the ID Vizzion. With its electric motor and batteries beneath the floor, suddenly the designers can create a car that provides lounge-like space inside, and touchscreens that run the width or length of the interior and that can even connect to virtual-reality glasses for holographic control or gaming on the move. The possibilities seem endless, but carmakers are cautious of going too far too quickly.