Electric Car Designs - What Is Missing

Thursday, May 24, 2012
There are yearly contests for engineering students, as well as high school students that can enter their electric car designs that promote the development of this automotive technology. Despite the fact the electric auto has been manufactured, and forgotten there is a continuous push for more optimal designs that can utilize battery or solar power to move a vehicle.

El Car Designs Do Not Differ that much from Conventional

Electric cars look like conventional cars aesthetically, both when it comes to exterior and interior. The same great and pretty designs are available, and friends and family will hardly be able to tell the difference. However, some new and simmering are emerging even today that promise better efficiency because unlike conventional cars which essentially only stress their aesthetics, electric vehicles also focus on the insides.

A question many people ask is; what exactly makes electric car designs different from other designs of conventional cars? Well, most electric automobiles bypass the use of gasoline and an engine completely although some have a secondary engine and storage tank in case the battery dies. Rather than using gasoline as a primary source of power, electric car design call for the usage of electricity like the name implies. A huge battery, made from materials like lithium ion - which is similar to performance batteries found in electronics like notebook computers - powers an efficient electric motor. New designs allow electric vehicles to travel up to fifty miles or more on a single charge.

Neat Usefulness

While conventional cars can easily travel 250 miles on a tank of gas, electric cars don't yet have the ability to go even close to hundred miles on a single charge. Keep in mind though that electricity is still much cheaper than gasoline. Nuclear power, hydroelectricity, and other sources of power, can power an electric vehicle indirectly by empowering the lines that the vehicle is charged from at a cost as low as about one cent per mile. The most fuel efficient conventional automobiles still cost around 7.5 cents per mile. It's unlikely that conventional engines will become significant more efficient, which is why research and development has occurred with regard to alternatives such as fuel made of hydrogen and other chemicals as well as electricity

Electric car designs should not be confused with design of hybrid cars. Hybrid cars utilize technologies from both conventional and electric cars to achieve slightly better fuel efficiency while lowering emissions, but they will probably never be as efficient as electric cars. Several families own two or more vehicles, so they would still have a long range car for vacations and business trips. For a car that's cheap and efficient for everyday transportation, an electric vehicle is the perfect solution.

Explore the Car Designing Process of Toyota

Sunday, May 20, 2012
Car designing is an important process in the formation of a car or any other vehicle. The process involves a number of stages starting from the design concept to the final production. All that is required to make the design successful is to infuse innovative ideas and nugget of inspiration with the science of car making.

Concept Making

The car design process starts with the concept making process that takes into consideration the essentials like customer choice, target market, and the development plan. The designer does all the research on the market and the customer expectations and then in response to the acquired results, he or she sketches or frames a defined pattern, structure, or design of a car. Then the sketch is drawn on paper and shared with other members to discuss its potential for future development.

Idea Development

The next step is the idea development process that includes the sketch in its actual form. This states that the defined sketch is given a new form using pencils, pastels, markers, and other sketching tools. These days the sketches are even drawn on computer with visual images and features. In the virtual space, the design concept is given a new form while the idea and expression gets beautifully transformed onto lines and surfaces.

Color Development

The step of idea development is followed by the color development in both the exterior and the interior. In the process different colors are tried and tested on the concept. After a good amount of research and total color coordination, some colors are selected in accordance to the fashion trends and the customer choice. The interior colors are also selected in accordance to the latest fashion in the industry. Then the instrument panel, steering wheel, seat fabric, carpet, and other features are given their colors to seamlessly blend with the exterior appeal.


Mock up is a stage where the actual design along with its selected colors is put into a 3-dimensional model. This model is created using clay by expert professionals who work together with the designer to understand the concept and give it a form and structure. Interior mock up is done using wood, plastic, metal, fabrics, and various other materials to create a complete design model of the car. This also defines the placement of the feature and the spaciousness in the car interior. The process involves a united approach between the car modeler and the car designer.

Decision Hall

After the mock up, is the decision hall wherein focus is completely laid on the customer choice and preference. In this stage of design process, the actual model is studied and analyzed from every direction under natural light. Then the final decision is taken whether the car will reach the production stage or not depending on the research done on the customer needs. Customer angle is of utmost important when finalizing the design for production.

Car Design Sketching - Three Beginner Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Thursday, May 10, 2012
1. Perspective; the ability to understand and draw in perspective is vital in car design. Many amateurs start off drawing three-dimensional objects without perspective. This can sometimes work for product design but is not acceptable on cars. Cars are large objects which are viewed close-up, which means perspective is very important. In fact it is better to exaggerate perspective than have none at all. To get a feel for it, experiment with wide-angle viewpoints and distorted perspective. Then move back to something more normal and easy to digest.

Be aware that of your two vanishing points, at least one will usually be a long way from the car. If you are finding perspective lines difficult to imagine, try covering your desk with paper and use a point that is way off the page that you can draw lines to.
Eventually you will be able to guess where your lines should go. Trace real cars as a reference. There is no substitute for practicing and studying how real cars behave with perspective.

2. Symmetry; make sure your car has a definite centre and that the design is balanced equally either side of it. The combination of this and perspective takes some practice so be patient. You must respect the form and plan-shape of the car and understand when features will not be visible. Cars are not boxes and can't be constructed as easily or as logically.

Flip the page over and check if the design still looks ok. If you are refining a series of under-lays, try flipping the image over each time you begin a new one. This will help you see errors and allow you to correct them before it is too late. If you want to clearly show both headlamps make sure you choose a viewpoint that includes them both from the start. One of the more common mistakes by beginners is to try and show too much of the far headlamp. This creates the impression that the car is distorted and is something to be avoided. It really helps to roughly sketch your design in different views so that you can understand the form you want before progressing to more detailed renderings.

3. Wheels; get your wheels right and you're half-way to producing a pleasing sketch. An otherwise perfect rendering will be ruined with incorrect looking wheel ellipses. It's a difficult thing to get the hang of in the beginning for some people. If this includes you make sure you tackle the problem early on! Using ellipse templates alone will not produce nice wheels; they must be positioned correctly and you can practice this freehand.

Respect your perspective lines and construct your ellipses logically to start with. You will build up a feeling for what works over time and be able to work more freely. Draw the axle lines through the car and then draw lines perpendicular (90 degrees) to these where you want the centres of the wheels to be. Your ellipse should touch the perpendicular line at its narrow ends. Then experiment with how fat or thin the ellipse needs to be to look right. On front wheels you have freedom to make the wheels turn and can adjust you ellipses accordingly - don't attempt this until you can draw them in-line, and be careful not to obstruct your design communication with turned wheels. Remember to tighten the ellipses for the distant wheels to account for perspective.

If you are struggling to work it out just trace over existing cars and examine how you would construct the wheels. Using a combination of correct perspective and symmetry you will be able to get all the wheels in the right position. Almost fill the arches with the wheels when sketching but always include a slight gap. Large wheels usually improve the appearance of cars but if you make them too big your work will look like a cartoon or caricature and won't be taken seriously. Keep the wheel design simple to begin with until you can get the basics right. The reason why you will often hear the recommendation to use real cars or other professional sketches as under-lays is so that you will get a feel for these three vitally important aspects. Get them right and your work will take a leap forward in credibility and communication.

Early in my career I used to work on a large drawing board covered with paper which would subsequently get covered in lines and airbrush ink. I was not afraid to go over the edges of the page I had taped on top which gave a lot of freedom and meant I could always draw accurate construction lines. Do whatever it takes to get the desired result on the page!

Miles Waterhouse is a leading instructor in car design on the web and graduated from Coventry University in 1999 with a BA (hons) in transportation design. He began his career at Pininfarina and has designed for auto companies such as Volvo and Shanghai Automotive.