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© 2019 by Aptera Motors Corp.

Sep 24

Best EV Design Features

1 comment

The top of the list is coasting - which is the most efficient way to use the kinetic energy stored in the moving mass; and the VW e-Golf coasts by default. Having regen integrated onto the brake pedal makes a lot of sense, since when you need to slow down, the brake pedal is the best way to modulate the speed.

 

Adaptive creep is another feature that I really like - EVs should start with a clean slate, and mimicking an ICE is the worst reason for making a design decision. This is something that is unique to the VW e-Golf. By default, there is no creep, but if you are in stop and go traffic, it adds a very mild creep. It goes away as soon as you go above a certain speed; which is about 20MPH. A third feature that is key for an EV design, that is also found on an e-Golf, is a direct heating windshield defroster. This is far more efficient than even a heat pump, that has to heat up air, and use a fan to blow it on the glass. This is case in point for not doing something like it is done in ICE vehicles. Their horribly inefficient engines produce so much waste heat, that blowing air on the glass is an acceptable solution. EVs though, have almost no waste heat, so they should have a better solution. Ford did direct heating defrosters in the 1970's and 80's, so we know how to do this.

 

The dashboard display of the Chevy Bolt EV is the best of any EV I know of. The high, median, and low range estimates are accurate and clear and very helpful. They have a "trending" bar, showing that your efficiency is trending down or up, and by how much. It also shows the kW consumption / regen rate in real time, and this is also very helpful.

 

The Nissan Leaf has the best charging port location, in my opinion, and they are also the only one to put a light inside it, so you can plug in at night, without fumbling around - this is so basic and simple, that I can't imagine why (almost?) nobody else does it. Something that Mercedes has started doing in their EVs makes a lot of sense: when you plug in to a public charging station, the car has an ID number, that allows you to just start charging. No need to have a separate membership for each charging company network. Makes a lot of sense to me!

For my family living here in New England, heating is key - heated seats, heated steering wheel, and heated exterior mirrors are also very important.

 

Having a heat pump is a very good thing - if it is integrated into the battery and electronics, that is even better.