The shape of new cars and SUVs hasn’t changed much over the years. As the world moves toward electric vehicles, Mercedes-Benz says that electric SUVs, specifically, need a new shape to be more efficient.
Mercedes-Benz takes aim at the shape of electric SUVs
It is no secret that electric vehicles tend to look like electric vehicles. That isn’t always a good thing. Autocar spoke with Markus Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz’s chief technology officer, about the shape of things. Schäfer said that while electric SUVs look a certain way right now, change is coming. “The matter of fact is that the biggest factor in achieving efficiency is aerodynamics times the factor of the size of the vehicle.”
Electric SUVs in the future will have to change shape to be more aerodynamic. This will require lowering the back end of the car to optimize airflow. Schäfer said that SUVs without a combustion engine might even need different axle widths to suit the vehicle’s needs. While people love the general shape of the SUV, the changing body will benefit automakers and drivers.
“But ultimately we have to take the customer into consideration, and the customer loves SUVs, no doubt. They love SUVs and the market share is still rising, but the shape probably will change.”Markus Schäfer | Mercedes-Benz’s chief technology officer
People will eventually get on board if a new shape means more efficient vehicles with a longer range. People aren’t even fully on-board with electric vehicles yet.
Mercedes-Benz electric SUVs will be more aerodynamic to improve range
No matter what automakers like Mercedes-Benz modify on an electric SUV, these vehicles won’t ever be as efficient as the small car body style. Gordon Wagener, Daimler chief designer, says that is why the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX has a sedan-like profile. Wagener went on to say that the new EQS and EQE will show such improved efficiency.
Autocar says that the new GLE and GLE SUV models have been improved upon for the new year. The design change means a different, more rounded, and more aerodynamic shape. Overall, the goal is to give buyers a better range with each charge. While the designers at Mercedes-Benz aren’t giving all of the details yet, it sounds like big changes are coming for the next lineup at Mercedes.
The new EQE SUV and EQS SUV will use the new MEA (or EVA2) architecture, which should be a glimpse into the crystal ball of future electric SUVs.
Boxy is out and aeurodynamic is in
Last month, the new Mercedes-Benz EQE electric SUV was spotted out and about. If the automaker aimed to move away from SUVs, the move worked. The EQE looks a lot like a Tesla Model X or Model Y. It doesn’t appear to be boxy like the current GLE lineup but does have a similar shape to a Tesla. It is also worth noticing that the wheels also take aim at the Tesla wheel design, perhaps to be more aerodynamic.
Mercedes-Benz seems to have plenty planned for the new electric SUV lineup without giving too much away. It might not be the most attractive design right away, but it’ll likely grow on buyers as time goes on.