Tech Can Wait: If Electric Cars Look Good Enough We'll Buy Them Anyway

With Honda having stolen the show twice with its two latest EV concepts, we have to concede that even with today's tech, electric cars would sell - if only they looked that good
Tech Can Wait: If Electric Cars Look Good Enough We'll Buy Them Anyway

This isn’t the first time this has been said, but we need to open with these words: electric cars are ugly. Almost no one has worked out that people might be more open to the idea of EVs if they actually looked like something you’d want on your drive… until now, maybe.

The Nissan Leaf is a massive seller, mainly thanks to insane incentives and punitive taxes on internal combustion in various countries around the world. Until the new one arrived, with the best will in the world you wouldn’t have called it a handsome chap.

Tech Can Wait: If Electric Cars Look Good Enough We'll Buy Them Anyway

There’s the bulbous, narrow-eyed Renault Zoe, the overly busy BMW i3 and let’s not even talk about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The exception to the rule has been the Volkswagen e-Golf, which just looks like a Golf. Even Tesla’s grilleless front end takes some getting used to.

But finally, finally, after years of disappointing sales unless there were big financial incentives on the table, manufacturers might be getting the message. The Leaf, after all, is the world’s biggest-selling EV, and Nissan has seen fit to change it massively.

Tech Can Wait: If Electric Cars Look Good Enough We'll Buy Them Anyway

Then there’s Honda, with its absolutely awesome Urban EV Concept and Sports EV Concept. Both look stunning; we’d have either of them outside our houses in a heartbeat. It’s no coincidence that the media comments – and most of the public feedback – has been the stuff of Honda’s dreams. When you make cars that looks like those two, you’re onto a winner.

Today’s world is pretty image-focused. That’s half the reason SUVs are so ridiculously popular, for one thing. Social media would have died a death by now if image wasn’t such a vital concern for millennials. Millennials – that’s you lot – are the next generation of car buyers. Image matters to you, whether you need to be seen in something American, something rare or something with M Division pedigree.

Tech Can Wait: If Electric Cars Look Good Enough We'll Buy Them Anyway

On that basis, the maths is simple: either manufacturers build cars that you guys genuinely want to own, or soon enough their sales take a nosedive. The right look, brilliant style, is essential. The Urban EV Concept and Sports EV Concept are the template. That’s how to do it, right?

Time will tell how quickly other manufacturers catch on, as they begin to release more and more of their own electric vehicles. Will they go down the cliched route of electric cars gone by, or have they cottoned on to the fact that we simply don’t want that?

Tech Can Wait: If Electric Cars Look Good Enough We'll Buy Them Anyway

What we want are cars that look great and stand out. We know there’s always going to be someone else with the same model, but that’s not the point. As long as we like our cars, that’s all that matters. Here’s the rub: take an average electric car and we won’t buy it. Put the Honda Urban EV shell on, and opinion basically does a 180-degree spin – particularly in countries like ours, where we know internal combustion’s days are numbered.

We will buy awesome-looking electric cars while the manufacturers sort the technology out to offer greater range, lighter batteries and faster recharge times, but only if they really do look as good as the two Hondas. If manufacturers want us to switch, they’d better step-up their design game. Fast.


Tomislav Celić

Only problem is the price. Literally everything else isn’t an issue in a life of an average human.

10/29/2017 - 14:16 |
10 | 12
Nishant Dash

The only problem with electric cars are: the whole “OH LOOK AT MEEE, I SAVED A GAZILLION POLAR BEARS” vibe that the owners give off, and what they are marketed as.

Also they’re batshit expensive compared to traditional rivals.

10/29/2017 - 14:18 |
140 | 12

Exactly. I feel like most electric/hybrid owners want to SHOW that they care about the environment, even though really they couldn’t give two sh1ts. If they really cared, they’d have held onto their old car for a little longer, then bought a SMALL electric car, not a big saloon with a battery pack that weighs as much as two Dodge Viper V10s.

10/29/2017 - 19:26 |
16 | 0
Tomislav Celić

I HATE HUMANS FOR THIS, but why is styling so goddamn impportant to us? Why? I mean the 2018 Mustang looks, ugly, but it’s such a great car, like who gives a crap about the exterior, you can’t see it while you are driving. Same with Multipla, it’s a phenomenal car, but everyone hates them for the styling. Like why? Why are humans like that? Someone please come up with some biological explanation, becouse I just don’t get it.

10/29/2017 - 14:19 |
16 | 28

Also I think Tesla and Zoe look great. Fight me, but not having a grill is better looking

10/29/2017 - 14:21 |
4 | 8

Exterior is important, when you wake up, go to your garage and see your car you want to be able to say “Damn it’s sexy”. Not “well, at least it sounds good”. The top thing would be to have both and more but exterior is important

10/29/2017 - 14:55 |
12 | 0

Toyota and Honda have the right ideas with their retro styling ❤️

10/29/2017 - 14:20 |
106 | 2
Nishant Dash

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


10/29/2017 - 15:42 |
4 | 0

Gimme a new big Citroën and I’d buy it, electric or not

10/29/2017 - 14:23 |
32 | 2

Tesla rival? Count me f’cking in

10/29/2017 - 14:25 |
16 | 4

Every night I pray that Citroen brings back the big hydrapneumatic sedans

10/29/2017 - 15:21 |
2 | 0

New electric Citroën ?
Unless you want to transport kids into your Berlingo (and that is absolutely out of my jurisdiction), well you only have the E-Mehari atm so lol

… I kinda like our C4 phase 2. 5 door, classic af, but it gets the job done. I somehow miss the old chevron grill design on the DS cars, esp. the DS4. And I don’t know why I wrote all that.

02/21/2018 - 18:10 |
0 | 0
307 sw

Speaking about looks…!

10/29/2017 - 14:35 |
186 | 12

In reply to by 307 sw

I don’t like it.

10/29/2017 - 15:05 |
88 | 30
Nishant Dash

In reply to by 307 sw

Bleh lol 😂😂

10/29/2017 - 15:41 |
6 | 16

In reply to by 307 sw

They need to make an electric e class. That would sell well

10/29/2017 - 22:06 |
2 | 0
FUGL_S60 (Tesla Lover 800)

In reply to by 307 sw


10/30/2017 - 08:39 |
2 | 0

In reply to by 307 sw

It’s a bit pricey for the wallets,isn’t it?Still,kudos to Mercedes for doing this

11/01/2017 - 13:54 |
0 | 0
KPS Lucky - Inactive

You know what they say! “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” Or not, in the case. Do it.

10/29/2017 - 14:38 |
10 | 2
Joshua Persaud (Wagon/Estate Squad) (Sleeper Squad) I need a

Doesn’t the Urban Concept look like a modern BMC Mini?

10/29/2017 - 15:09 |
16 | 0

Definitely has the same boxy vibe going on

10/29/2017 - 15:47 |
2 | 0

Or just like a Civic Mk1? (more probable, me thinks)

10/29/2017 - 19:22 |
12 | 0

It’s intended to look like a Mk1 Civic

10/29/2017 - 19:47 |
2 | 0

The i3 looks like a depressed toaster

10/29/2017 - 15:38 |
62 | 0


10/29/2017 - 15:41 |
4 | 4
Darth Imperius/Anthony🇭🇷

That’s why we need EV conversions for classic cars.

10/29/2017 - 15:47 |
4 | 2

Already working on that

10/29/2017 - 16:48 |
6 | 4


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