Despite manufacturers of electric vehicles continuing to promise additional room for occupants, a CarLab study has revealed that EVs can suffer from poor interior design decisions that can lead to issues with ingress and egress, a reduced amount of rear headroom, less room for cargo, and uncomfortable seating positions.
The California-based design consultancy, however, believes that with a proper package study and analysis, OEMs and startups can avoid these shortfalls and begin delivering on their statements of home-like comfort and convenience.
CarLab uses parametric vehicle interior testing (PVIT) to study a vehicle’s interior package, and highlight issues such as lack of knee room. PVIT is described by the company as the “outgrowth of hundreds of research projects using consumer input to create optimal vehicle interiors and resultant exteriors – designing from the inside out”.
The company uses its own mannequins and processes to enable the repeatable measurement of production models to over 40 internationally recognized – and more than 12 new – standards. The results of these assessments are then used to support OEMs with vehicle interior design.
A recent CarLab PVIT study found that VinFast VF 8 EV was far less space-efficient than smaller SUVs and that its occupant package and cargo areas “are eclipsed” by the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
“The lack of research in EV interior package with consumers is aberrant since a battery the size of a twin mattress must share the same space as the occupants,” explained Maeva Ribas, director and head of package research at CarLab, and an ArtCenter College of Design alum and faculty member. “On top of that, a slanted A-pillar and a lower roofline make for absurd compromises between transporting people and traveling from point A to point B.”