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Old 01-13-2010, 08:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
I think you are seeing a predominately engineer's POV, aka form follows function. In this case, the form of the car does not follow the function of aerodynamic improvement, so the form is bad.
I know what you're saying. I'll concur that none of the Renault EVs look particularly aero-influenced (though the Zoe and Fluence don't look too bad aerodynamically - see the pics below). With the Twizy, I'd argue that it doesn't matter, as it's a city car with a very limited top speed (only 40 or 50mph if I recall correctly) and it'll spend much of it's time doing even less than that, in stop-start city traffic. Aero in this instance is far less important than outright utility, and function can give way to form as far as styling goes.



The same can perhaps be said about the Kangoo EV van - as a small delivery van it'll spend almost all it's time in a city environment (limited range will take care of that too, of course) and of course with commercial vehicles, "function" is related to carrying capacity rather than aero efficiency.

For the record, I understand your POV. The big boys are trying, but they're (literally) dragging all their baggage with them (and putting it into the trunk, making everything even heavier). They feel they *have* to provide a car that supplies at least all of the amenities of a compact car because they think they can't make money without meeting that standard.
To be fair on Renault and other big automakers, they do have to provide a car that supplies the normal amenities, because the challenge is weaning the general public off the sort of cars they're used to. I suspect, if I straw-polled people I know, I'd actually find a lot of people (petrolheads aside) who'd be interested in driving an electric car provided that it a) offered them everything a normal car "should" offer them, and b) they didn't have to make too many range/recharging-related compromises. The second issue is the biggest one really, but that'll come in due course.

For the time being, Renault are probably doing the right thing by making EVs that are very much like "normal" cars.

And function aside, I think the Zoe and Fluence are very attractive designs, and the Twizy and Kangoo are "interesting", in a good way.
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