What’s the Buzz: Electrification – The shape of things to come


It’s not a coincidence that just about every new all-electric model or concept being introduced is in the shape of a sport utility vehicle, even if when they aren’t, the silhouette is on the tall end with more ground clearance than usual, like the recently announced Polestar 2.

The fully-electric, 500 km-capable Polestar 2 is categorised as a 3-box saloon.

Apart from satisfying the market’s insatiable appetite for tall-riding vehicles, the body-style is an entirely pragmatic one for the simple reason of where the battery cells and modules are being stacked – on the floor of the vehicle.

Cut-out of the Volkswagen ID Buggy concept shows where the battery cells reside.

And because these high voltage battery packs occupy vertical space, making the greenhouse of the vehicle taller is one way not to compromise cabin space, the other being to stretch the wheelbase (distance between the front and rear axle) and make the body wider (such as the Tesla models), which explains why SUV and hatchback shapes do come in handy, especially for high volume, mass market models.

At least the MRT looks more aerodynamic than the Google autonomous vehicle.

Theoretically speaking, an EV doesn’t even need an engine bay as it doesn’t have an engine and transmission (only a reduction gear system typically), but due to crash safety regulations, we will likely still (thankfully) have vehicle ‘front ends’ that resemble what our memory have been accustomed to for decades. But when cars start to look like Google’s autonomous vehicle, I’ll be taking the MRT.


Denis Wong

Denis Wong

In the age of misinformation and spin, Denis prefers candour and a counterpoint, because the truth matters.
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