Whether an electric car is ugly or not is a personal opinion, but it’s hard to argue the ugliness of the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius, BMW i3, Renault Twizy, Tata Pixel, or dozens others going all the way back to the GM EV1. Sure, the Tesla S is a looker, and the Fisker Karma broke the ugly mold, but by and large, most EVs look beat by the ugly stick. Just take a look at this Pinterest board of ugly EVs for affirmation.
This begs the question: WHY? Why don’t automakers make attractive, desirable, appealing electric vehicles that someone other than Ed Begley Jr. might actually want to drive? Hell, at least something that isn’t downright embarrassing to own!
Ugly EV Excuses
First, the majority of mass produced electric cars are designed for aerodynamics, not aesthetics. Often that removes some of the more stylish design points that you may find on a larger, fossil fuel-dependent vehicle. The other issue might be demographics. These cars, at least at this point in automotive history, are not being marketed to car enthusiasts. They are still a niche vehicle, and with that comes niche aesthetics. The soft, inoffensive shapes of many electric vehicles–designs more at home perhaps as Pokemon characters or tennis shoes than cars–may be more appealing to certain buyers than any muscular, aggressive design would be. There is also the need to accommodate the batteries somewhere, without sacrificing utility and cargo space. Also, consider this: there are plenty of ”ugly” cars that use all types of fuel. For example, look at anything with the Smart nameplate on it. In my opinion, a Fiat 500 is nauseating to look at as well.
Still, these are really only excuses of one kind or another. It seems strange that carmakers would produce cars so ugly if they truly wished to promote adoption of this technology. Conspiracy theorists may have a field day with that one. Personally, I think EVs will become more attractive as time goes on.
What do you think? Why are EVs so damn ugly?
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