Electric vehicles are helping us to fight climate change with their reduced impact on pollution and zero emissions. But did you know that electric vehicles are also changing the way how we drive and use our cars?
Due to the less noisy and relaxed driving experience that electric powered vehicles deliver, and the removal of the large transmission tunnel, engine and cooling requirements, it is now enabling designers to think outside the box when it comes to the interiors of future cars.
Having this extra space is allowing vehicles designers to have more of a creative freedom when designing the interiors of future cars. We may not see stark results straight away, there has definitely been a change in current appearance and interior design of today’s vehicles.
One example is the new Skoda Enyaq iV SUV. Because the cabin has now been unburdened by the standard compromises of a standard car, the Envaq iV implements a new approach to interior architecture, along with angular design.
The compact motor is underneath the floor of the boot, and the battery is housed underneath the car. This means that the cabin of the car is more spacious, with a flat floor and a 585 litre holding boot. You can even adjust and change the ambient lighting in the car’s cabin.
The future of vehicles is pointing towards autonomous driving and increased connectivity gives indications that vehicles of the future will become mobile multi-purpose living and working spaces for us to enjoy. This has caused designers to rethink the standard cabin of vehicles and focus more on comfort, functionality, efficiency and haptic design.
You can expect to see extra elements such as ambient lighting, interface systems and new and improved seating, giving users extra comfort.
Jochen Hardt, vice president global marketing mobility at Covestro, one of the world’s leading polymer companies, explains his views on upcoming designs on the changes in design of cars.
“In particular, a high-quality and individual design has considerable influence on consumers' buying decisions while providing car manufacturers opportunities for brand differentiation,”
Covestro has been designing, developing and manufacturing new polymer materials that enabling designers to change the interior of modern and future vehicles. This range of plastic and polycarbonate blends are ideal as they are robust and have great electric and thermal insulation. With these materials also being lightweight, it can help the battery driving range of future electric vehicles.
Design elements that can be implemented with these new materials include lightweight, space saving tables, colorful glass-like surfaces, and options to integrate sensors, cameras, displays and lighting for extra ambience and entertainment.
Jochen Hardt believes that new and improved lighting effects can be enhanced even further.
“One example is the floor in the prototype car interior concept here, light from a polycarbonate part shines through a wafer-thin layer of marble. This effect could also be created by coating it with a digitally printed film."
“But the high transparency of polycarbonate itself can also be used to create lighting effects, for example by illuminating the background or edges. The light can be dynamic and communicative, but also atmospheric, relaxing and cozy. We anticipate a growing demand for increasingly personalized lighting experiences and functions.”
BMW Vision iNEXT sets out the future car interior
The Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show 2019 has shown that car manufacturers are already thinking outside the box when it comes to the interior of future vehicles. BMW has shown concepts of it’s new iNEXT vehicle, giving us a glimpse into the future of interiors.
The concept version of the iNEXT shows a very different future from the design of current vehicles we drive today.
Features of the iNEXT’s interior are a large, comfortable and stylish cabin, and two large digital display panels for the driver. Patterned wooden flooring and flat dashboard completes the look, creating and inviting, almost home like atmosphere to the vehicle.
The rear passenger compartment of the vehicle has no visible technology on show, but becomes operable when required. BMW’s designers have said that future technological advances will allow dynamic projects that can turn any surface, such as wood or fabric, into an interactive display.
“Future vehicle concepts for electromobility offer car manufacturers opportunities for completely new room concepts and additionally open up a new ground for brand differentiation.” Jochen Hardt say.
It seems like the interiors of cars in the future will be more of a place where you can be transported in comfort and style, rather than just a functional driving experience. With more than just the option to upgrade to leather seats on offer, the future of car interior design looks highly inviting.