Performance is often not the only factor to take into account when purchasing cars, where the appearance is usually the key element for final purchases, which is also applicable on electric vehicles. We have picked 3 electric vehicles with cute round eyes. Let’s see which one takes the crown of the cutest.
▲ From left: Honda e, Mini Electric, eBussy.
This may be the first time when we don’t have to focus on the driving range, maximum horse power, and acceleration time from 0 to 100km/h, for a discussion on electric vehicles, since all 3 of them are “urban mobility” vehicles. In other words, all 3 vehicles are capable of a driving range that is below 400km (could be lower), and 9-11 seconds for the acceleration time from 0 to 100km/h. Just a side note: eBussy possesses merely 90km/h of maximum speed, thus the vehicle has been omitted from this category.
Due to the close price range between the 3 vehicles, which is between EU€25,000 and 30,000 that equals to roughly TWD$1 million, let us talk about the design and practical equipment of these vehicles since performance is definitely not their strongest suit.
Honda’s First Electric Vehicle: Honda e
No one would have guessed that this vehicle is a creation of Honda if the logo is covered. In fact, Honda e is the first battery electric vehicle that was created by the automotive manufacturer from scratch through a concept of electric vehicle, instead of a redesign from a classic model that is usually adopted by most traditional automotive manufacturers, which is praiseworthy.
The mellow design runs through the entire vehicle, where one of the highlights lies on the rectangular cameras that serve as the rear view mirrors on both sides, which maintains the overall streamline contour of the vehicle.
In order to allow the driver to instantly see the traffic status behind either side of the vehicle, two monitors have been installed on the lateral side of the front doors for 24/7 display of the image of the rear camera, though such design may not be approved by the law.
If you hated the gigantic display offered by Tesla, then the 6 monitors seen in Honda e will probably be something that is up your alley, though it may also trigger trypophobia for a certain group of people.
The most distinctive equipment of Honda e is the total of 4 USB ports, 2 at the front, and 2 at the back, as well as one HDMI port and power socket. Set up your PS4 in the vehicle and jam on some games while waiting for the car to charge up.
Anglo-German Big Eyes: Mini Electric
How can we miss out Mini Cooper when we talk about cuteness? However, first thing first, this electric version of Mini Cooper is officially named as Mini Electric in the UK, and Mini Cooper SE in other markets, though they are identical.
Mini Electric has been remodeled from the design of Mini Cooper S, and it depended on the experience of the BMW i3 team to fit in the battery, motor, and other electrical control circuits, which makes it an Anglo-German creation.
Mini Electric looks almost identical to Mini Cooper S, except for the yellow embellishment on the body of the vehicle, and the socket design on the rim, which only the Brits can identify as a charging socket.
The interior of the vehicle adheres to the standard of Mini, though the dashboard has preserved a certain retro design during the transformation process from gasoline to electrification, and it is a shame that the two displays are connected with a rectangular panel, which do not provide too much information other than the speed and distance.
In terms of the general design, the vehicle has preserved the spirit of Mini, and offers performance in operability and acceleration that does not conform to its appearance, where the lower driving position paired with the low center of gravity derived from electrification will be able to introduce a better degree of stability. Mini lovers, are you excited yet?
This is not a toy: modularized electric vehicle eBussy
eBussy of German startup Electric Brand is regarded as the cutest contender, yet it has the most functions equipped. eBussy is the boldest design concept to date, and it is not necessarily a vehicle, as it provides 10 modularized components that allow the vehicle to transform into multiple forms, including pick-up, van, mini-bus, or SUV.
The power chassis designed by the team at Electric Brand contains the battery unit and an all-wheel drive motor that can achieve a driving range of 200km, and the fascinating element is that the vehicle adopts a replaceable battery that is similar to that of Gogoro, where the maximum driving range will increase along with more batteries installed; the vehicle can also rapidly replenish electricity at the battery swapping station, before charging to full capacity at home.
Amongst the various modules, the RV module not only provides elevated and lengthened interior space, but the roof is also installed with solar panels, where the interior has been equipped with a mini countertop and sink, aside from its capability in transforming into a flat mattress. In terms of space, the champion goes to eBussy.
In addition, the fully modularized design of eBussy allows comprehensive alteration in the connection of the steering wheel and the steering system, and the company also claims that users will be able to “slide” the steering wheel to the left, middle, and the right of the driver’s seat (although this is a fascinating function, it probably won’t be used at all).
Lastly, eBussy is technically not a prototype car but merely a concept car. There had been numerous remarkable concepts proposed by electric vehicle startups in the past few years, though none of them made it to the production phase, so we can only wait and see how it would turn out in the future.
Among these lovely and mesmerizing electric vehicles, Mini Electric has sold tens of thousands of units, and Honda e will be available in August, whereas eBussy is expected to make its debut in 2021. With the increasing popularization of electric vehicles, perhaps these uniquely charming cars will start to increase their exposure on the streets.