All thanks to some important design decisions.
The launch of the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback marked the start of a new electric era for the German automaker. Joining the ID.3 will be the upcoming ID.4 crossover, which will be the first electric Volkswagen model offered in America. After being previewed by the ID. Crozz, the production ID.4 will hopefully break cover in August at the rescheduled 2020 New York Auto Show. This is just the start of VW's electric onslaught, however, as the German automaker will also launch production versions of the ID. Buzz and ID. Vizzion concepts, as well as smaller electric cars that will slot below the ID.3.
While each ID. model has a different body style allowing VW to cover a broad range of segments, they all have one thing in common: the dedicated MEB platform. In contrast, other automakers such as BMW and Volvo use platforms that support multiple powertrains. The Volvo XC40, for example, will be offered with pure-combustion, hybrid, and fully electric powertrains.
When asked why VW decided to develop a separate EV range built on a dedicated platform, Volkswagen design chief Klaus Bischoff explained to Autocar that electric technology offers "a lifetime chance to create a new user experience and design expression. The new architecture that electric vehicles offer gives designers the chance to come up with an entirely new design approach. We're aiming to develop something that gives customers big advantages: a small footprint, big interior, and fully digital architecture. To keep [an electric car] in the traditional space would have been the wrong decision."
"There is more freedom [with a bespoke EV] because the car's architecture volume and proportions are different," the design chief added. "With the internal combustion engine out of the game, you can really move the proportions and bodystyles and you have a lot more flexibility, particularly in terms of interior design."
While this approach offers more freedom, Bischoff believes designers should avoid making EVs look too radical to prevent alienating buyers who are still adjusting to electric cars. "We are on this journey together," he said. "If you go too far outside and go into a field of design that's different but not balanced or stylistic, then you can lose customers. You need to go brave, but do it step by step."