Smart & Connected Life > Electric Vehicles EVs are Roomier and Here's Why Spacious interiors and lots of cargo room are popular features of EVs By Lynn Walford Lynn Walford Pomona College Lynn Walford is an automotive journalist who covers a wide range of cars from the classics to the latest in EVs. She founded AUTO Connected Car News and has written for DMA Media’s Auto Futures, Cars.com, Automotive IT News, Yahoo! Autos, and Electric Car Insider. lifewire's editorial guidelines Published on September 29, 2021 Tweet Share Email From the outside, electric vehicles might look like little toys compared to larger gas-powered vehicles. Although some might look small on the outside and fit better in smaller parking spaces, don’t let their size fool you: EVs actually pack a maximum amount of room into a minimum amount of space. That’s because less is more when it comes to EVs: They have more space than their gas-powered counterparts because EVs have fewer moving parts. Plus, advances in design and technology make many parts of the vehicle smaller in general and give EVs more room for passengers and cargo. The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Electric Vehicles No Engine = More Space Gas-powered vehicles have always been designed to include a variety of large parts, such as engines, gas tanks, multi-speed gearboxes, exhaust systems, catalytic converters, and more. EVs, however, just don’t need all those large parts. Because they don’t burn fuel, they don’t require an exhaust system or catalytic convertor.There is no radiator in an EV so there is no need for a grille.Electric vehicle motors only have one speed, too, which eliminates the need for a transmission or gearbox.Also missing are smaller parts, like spark plugs, a timing belt, and fuel injectors. The most important key to a roomy interior is the fact EVs use a small electric motor and a rechargeable battery instead of a large engine to power the vehicle. That means the overall design of the EV can be changed not just to improve performance but to offer a lot more room to both driver and passengers. Without that large gas-powered engine consuming so much space under the hood, all the parts of the cabin can be expanded. This means that front seats can be set farther forward in an EV compared to a gas car. As they move up, rear seat passengers can stretch out with more legroom. Where’s the Interior Floor ‘Hump’? Ford The extra interior space advantage just keeps on coming with EVs. Without the need for a transmission, differential or exhaust system, the central floor tunnel hump you see in gas cars can be removed for more back seat legroom in EVs. Many EVs remove it completely but some do use a smaller version of that tunnel to house batteries, storage compartments or other features. When that tunnel is removed, though, it gives the interior of an EV the feeling of expanded space. Rear passengers don’t need to boost their knees up, for example, to fit into the back seat and everyday items like grocery bags or backpacks can fit more easily into the back floor area. A Full-size Interior With a Mid-Size Body: The Skateboard Effect Impact on EV Space The VW 'skateboard' platform. Sean Gallup/Getty Smart design is another reason EVs are roomier than gas cars. VW, Ford, and other EV automakers use a design called the skateboard system. This system gives EVs a space advantage because of where the wheels are placed on an EV. Think of a gasoline car as a pair of skates and an EV as a skateboard. In a pair of skates, the wheels are placed fairly close together underneath the body of the skate. There isn’t much room between the front and rear wheels; everything is crammed in between them. A skateboard’s wheels, on the other hand, are set much further apart underneath the skateboard platform. EVs still place everything between the wheels, just like a gas car, but the wheel spacing design difference means there is a lot more room to play with on the interior. Julie Bang Batteries, brakes, motors and other vital parts are spread out along the ‘skateboard’ platform, typically inside the platform to leave a flat base for the EV’s exterior framework and interior design. Aside from expanded interior space, the skateboard approach also gives EVs a lower center of gravity than gas cars, which improves overall handling of the vehicle. Combine that with the fact EVs need far fewer parts than a gas car and you can quickly see how space expands on the interior. Because of this skateboard design approach, EV automakers can place vital parts anywhere they want on the car’s base platform and arrange seating and storage spaces in any format they like. Gasoline powered cars, on the other hand, place engine and steering systems on top of the flat base, plus must add in all the other parts above the base, too. Everything else also goes above the flat base of a gas car, which just continues to limit interior space. EV automakers continue to create improved variations of the skateboard design with each new version focused on creating more and more comfort for driver and passengers. For example, Ree, an Israeli EV automaker, offers a design which lets buyers build a customized EV using a modular approach, just like you can build modular homes by putting prebuilt parts together in different designs. In the video, you can see how Ree's EV’s ‘skateboard’ designed platform has everything it needs to power the vehicle, giving the car a flat base to create any kind of interior design desired. Other EV automakers use the skateboard approach as a reusable base for multiple types of EV bodies, which improves production times and reduces manufacturing costs. The Double Trunk Trick: Pack More Stuff With EV Increased Cargo Capacity Because of the way the skateboard design incorporates moving parts into the base platform, there is more room for storage in the front under the hood where the engine used to go. Ford Quite often, EV automakers create a front trunk (sometimes called a ‘frunk’) to use the space effectively. There is usually a back trunk in an EV, too, so that gives many EVs a double trunk for storage. For example, the 2022 Nissan Leaf has 23.6 cubic ft of space; 30 if you include the flexible back seat area. There are emergency latches inside larger frunks and many can be opened wirelessly. Some front trunks have dividers so stuff doesn’t move around; aftermarket cargo netting or bungee belts can usually be added, too, to help keep items firmly in place. An average electric SUV with about 30 sq ft of storage (without the back seats folded down) can easily fit two carry-on bags of luggage, two large checked-baggage sized suitcases and one soft-sided overnight bag or backpack. The rear windows will usually not be blocked even after all that luggage is loaded, so there's still lots of interior space for family members to enjoy the road trip. Newer EVs like the Mustang Mach-e offers a feature for drivers who like to enjoy tailgate or “frunkgate” parties. The Mach-e’s frunk has a drain hole, allowing owners to fill the frunk with ice to keep drinks or food cold and drain melted ice out the bottom. Even a compact hatchback model EV can offer great amounts of storage. With the seats folded down in a compact EV, a Christmas tree or even bicycle can fit nicely. The front truck can also be called the front luggage compartment. In Europe and the UK where they call the trunk the ‘boot’, they may refer to the storage space the front boot or froot.