Electric vehicle skateboards are ripe for innovation

The skateboard layout has had a huge influence on EV design, but as some developers argue, there is plenty of room for improvement. By Xavier Boucherat

Skateboard layouts have become the standard in electric vehicle (EV) design. Among the latest to hit the road are VW’s ID.3 and the upcoming ID.4, which both use the brand’s MEB architecture. This positions the motor and drivetrain components between wheels, creating space for the battery in the middle. VW likely has Tesla to thank for popularising the idea, although the California automaker announced in October 2020 that a redesigned Model S would move towards structural battery packs: instead of placing the battery on a skateboard platform, the battery becomes the platform itself, potentially saving weight and reducing complexity. The move underlines how the question of EV architecture design is by no means settled, and that opportunities for advancement remain.

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