Why Are Electric Cars Just SO Ugly?

So let’s be honest: some electric cars are UGLY. They just look… odd. But not all do – some electric cars actually look really nice. Plus when the Tesla Cybertrunk was revealed, people were split: some people thought it was the ugliest thing created, other people loved it and said it looks amazing.

A BMW i3 on a dealer's yard, from Wikipedia.
A BMW i3 on a dealer’s yard, from Wikipedia.

So to answer the question we are sometimes asked of “why are electric cars so ugly?“… well, as the saying goes, “it’s in the eyes of the beholder.” Therefore, the vehicle may be ugly to you, while the owner finds it to be the most beautiful car s/he has ever owned. It is possible that some manufacturers created ‘ugly’ cars in the beginning to draw attention. After all the more attention they received, the more people would be curious and become more interested. Interest may equate to a purchase.

Or, perhaps these ugly cars looked so due to smaller tires, smaller grills, and a larger rear. This is because these attributes are associated with better aerodynamics as well as high rolling resistance. Equally the battery packs in EVs are large (the earlier versions needed a lot of help to have an adequate range as well as performance) – this takes up lots of space at the bottom of the car, meaning that a higher roofline is required. A lot has been written about the Nissan Leaf. Some see it as a beautiful electric car, while others put it in the ugly classification.

The Leaf is known for its motor and its charming grace. It has a long-range of driving. It’s relatively cheap to own. It offers enough space. The naysayers still find it somewhat difficult to look at, and it cannot provide for a 500-mile day. The Leaf is outselling in Britain over all the pure EVs put together. Nissan has just launched its second generation of the vehicle. The first chapter of the Leaf resulted in many loyal and satisfied customers. They said they loved the small running costs as well as the convenience of charging it at home. The silence and pure practicality were also attention-getters. If you are interested in buying a new 2019 model Nissan Leaf, you are looking at an entry cost of $28,990. If you go for the top of the line you will need to shell out about $36,200; however, the Leaf is great at maintaining its value, and the depreciation is lower than most cars.

Equally a lot of people have bought the Toyota Prius hybrid. To many, this might answer the question, why are electric cars so ugly? However, you might find this Toyota to be beautiful. The price range offers a lot of bang for the buck. The beginning Prius can be had for around $23,770. If you want a loaded Prius, you are looking at approximately $32,200. The Toyota Prius is the granddaddy of all the electric cars. It still remains a leader. As far as the economy it will give you more than 50 mph. You can also rely on a comfortable ride. The cargo area offers a lot of versatility. Perhaps the best thing about this car is that Toyota offers a long history of producing reliable hybrid vehicles.

Another competitor in the electric car category is the Hyundai Ioniq. You can buy the cheapest at around $22,400. If you want one that is fully loaded, you will pay about $36,815. Owners find that is has nice cargo space for storage. It also offers a lot of user-friendly features. One of the drawbacks is the steering, which somewhat detracts from the driving experience. Overall it rates well against hybrids. It offers excellent fuel economy as well as a great starting price.

New Chevy Bolt EV Premium, from Chevrolet.com
New Chevy Bolt EV Premium, from Chevrolet.com

There haven’t been many comments on the appearance of the Chevrolet Bolt. The first Bolt generation was introduced for 2017. It offers a driving range of 238 or more miles. If your trip allows for fast-charging stations along the way, this will let your new Bolt to take you on a long-distance journey. The Bolt has a higher starting price coming in at $36,620. A fully-equipped model is priced at $41,020. This Chevy offers a 200-horsepower electric motor. It provides the driver a feeling of sure-footedness while the steering and brakes provide predictability and smoothness. As far as looks, well, that’s up to you, but it does provide for a ground-up design. It offers a tall profile, which helps to add some refreshing attraction.

Many buyers are turning to the VW e-Golf. Volkswagon says it has everything drivers like about the VW Golf. However, they say it is cleaner, along with offering a silent electric package. Volkswagon offers its popular top-quality built car along with a generous packaging. The quiet powertrain will be much less costly to operate and maintain as opposed to the conventional diesel or the petrol car. The VW e-Golf offers a traditional look as well as cutting-edge technology. If you plan to go to your Volkswagon dealer this weekend to purchase your new e-Golf, you will need a minimum of $31,895. If you want to go the premium route, you can write out a check for $38,895.

Another electric car is the Kia e-Niro. It has a driving range of 282 miles. It gets about 50 mph on hybrid power. What buyers love about this Kia is that it has a seven-year warranty. This says a lot about the reliability of this electric car. The e-Niro offers a reasonable amount of engine power. It also allows for a comfortable ride. The cabin provides for a roomy, comfortable seating area. There is also a generous cargo area. The base price for the Kia e-Niro starts at $23,490. The premium equipped model goes for $35,200.

Everyone knows the name BMW. Their new electric car is the BMW i3. The starting price is $44,450. If you want to add different variants, the price ranges from $47,650 to $51,500. It would be interesting to take a survey to learn how many people find this little luxury car ‘ugly.’ Surprisingly its electric range does not offer much competition to other electric vehicles. It does offer an amazingly quick acceleration. It also provides a solidly built auto with high safety ratings. However, to receive these features, you are going to pay a higher price than competitors. The launching of this BMW i3 is actually a new venture for the manufacturer. The new BMW i3 has been described as wacky, weird, and wonderful. Time will tell how this subcompact hatchback matches up with its competitors.

The Fiat 500e should receive some affirmative nods opposed to those saying it is ugly. It is the best 500 to drive. It does not offer any smartphone software. It also does not provide any automatic emergency braking. One major issue, if you live on the east coast of the US, you will either need to have your Fiat 500e shipped to you or drive to Oregon or California to purchase it and drive it back home. It is only available in these two states. If you intend to drive it back to New York City, you need to hope for a lot of electrical recharging stations as its range is about 84 miles. When all of this is said and done, you would expect a low sales price. Guess again, you will need to make out your check for $33,210.

The Honda Clarity is not talked about too much. You don’t see too many of them on the freeway. It’s interesting because you can buy one for $34,000. This will get you a plug-in hybrid car. You can plug it in, but it does have a limited range of about 50 miles. Then you can operate the gas engine. Even so, if you mostly drive around town, this car might be a great answer to your driving needs. It is excellent for a commuter. It offers a comfortable interior and ride. It might also qualify for federal as well as local incentives.

Can you actually ask the question, “why are electric cars so ugly” when it comes to the 2019 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid? This high performing car is more like a Formula 1 car as opposed to your family sedan. Do not plan on doing too much cruising in your new Porsche as this plug-in can only last for about 30 miles. Then you will need to switch to the twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter V6. But, if you have the money for this Porsche, you surely have money to feed it gas. If you are wondering about the price tag, you can pick up your new 2019 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid for just $100,650.

If you want to take a quick look at a nice SUV, here goes. Many people do not use the word ‘ugly’ to describe the Tesla Model X. This SUV has a starting price of $84,990. If you shop around, you might find a beginning price of approximately $82,000. The Telsa is known for its blistering acceleration. It also offers terrific handling. You will find it has a lot of cargo space. Even so, many reviewers place it at the bottom half of the luxury hybrid and electric SUV rankings. The SUV offers 300 miles of all-electric driving. The midsize SUV easily takes curves and handles like a dream. It provides a 17-inch infotainment display along with many Autopilot features for drivers.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan is a software developer who is passionate about eco-friendly lifestyles - and products, such as green cars! He has loved seeing Nissan and Tesla sell loads of quality EVs over the last decade - with every other car manufacturer finally following suit.

EV adoption seems to be at a tipping point now, with 'ordinary folk' starting to order them too. This is naturally aided by very expensive gas prices, but also a genuine desire for people to try and improve the environment.

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