As someone who considers himself an environmentalist, minimalism is usually something I am in favor of, but when it comes to Phillippe Starck’s minimalist EV, the V+ Volteis, minimalism in this sense is clearly a negative.
In a Wall Street Journal article designer Phillippe Starck says, “cars are an extraordinary reflection of the intelligence of our civilization except that we don’t do anything good with them. The damage caused by them is tragic.” Good so far. As you read on you learn that Mr. Starck decides to design a $40,000 electric car that is primarily a, “fun car for people to use as a runabout in sun-soaked resorts.” His car has no doors, only a front windshield, and none of the other features one would expect in a regular car, essentially an upscale golf cart. But why? Because, as he says, “an electric vehicle doesn’t go at 150 miles and hour, and doesn’t have to look like a car that does.”
Actually, while most electric cars on the road today do not reach speeds of 150 MPH, they are more similar to their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts in features, capability, and overall performance than golf carts. Electric cars by Tesla, Ford, BMW, and Nissan are designed to look and feel just like ICE cars not because automakers are weary of designing a car that might turn potential buyers off, but because that is what the public wants, and needs.
What the public needs are electric cars like my Nissan Leaf. A car with 210 lb-ft of torque – on demand I might add – a 0-60 time right in line with similar ICE cars in its category, and a top speed of 95 MPH.