Do EV hoods/bonnets still need to be so long? We could have so much more interior space if they were shorter.

Do EV hoods/bonnets still need to be so long? We could have so much more interior space if they were shorter.

Is it just for the aesthetics/aero/frunk, or does the crush/crumple zone actually need to be that long?

The [Model X and Y]( could have a more comfortable third row had they extended the cabin further into the hood space, all while maintaining the same footprint. Plus, a shorter hood allows for better visibility of the road, both for the driver as well as the autonomous driving system (especially on poor roads, snowy conditions, and for seeing kids/animals in front of the car). Not to mention, shorter cars are easier to maneuver and lead to fewer parking/parking lot accidents.

Examples of short/no hoods: [Zoox autonomous car](, [Chevy Bolt EV](, [Nissan Leaf](

Hell, the [Canoo]( can have 3 rows of seats AND a trunk, **AND** is 6 inches shorter than a Prius’s length (180 inches) **which is already a super compact car!**

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23 thoughts on “Do EV hoods/bonnets still need to be so long? We could have so much more interior space if they were shorter.

  1. >Prius is a super compact car

    It is small. It’s not “super” small, in my opinion … The VW Golf is 164 inches long. The Mini Cooper is 150. The Scion iQ is 120.

    The brilliant Mazda5 (minivan/wagon) is 185 inches long, and has 3 rows of seats. It’s not a super compact car. It’s just … slightly smaller than what Americans like to drive.

  2. You have not formulated your question well. It seems you are more interested in maximizing passenger space rather than hoods themselves. Your first example of “[]( – there’s just not much room between the drivers feet and where the wheel well (so cabin can’t really be pushed forward) and there’s not a ton of length in front of the front wheel (so the hood can’t be shortened much). Granted you could squeeze maybe an inch here and there, but it’s far different from the hood on, e.g., a Tahoe that both extends forward a good bit plus has a large vertical grill that is terrible for visibility and pedestrian safety. [](

    The Canoo is an interesting vehicle for some uses, but it makes compromises to have so much passenger space. It’s not just that it sacrifices crumple zone. It’s, e.g., 10″ taller than a model Y, giving more space for the van shape riding on top of the power train – it would be significantly more cramped in the front otherwise, and that height adds to presumably suboptimal aerodynamics. Likewise the rear has a lot more space because it has a van’s flat roofline to the rear – that’s great for the third row but also bad for aerodynamics.

  3. I think frunks for the most part are extremely overrated parts of EVs. On EV trucks they make a good amount of sense because trucks usually don’t have an enclosed cargo area like a trunk, but on other cars I really don’t think they’re necessary.

    For example look at the ID.Buzz, the whole reason it can look like that is because it doesn’t have a significant front overhang, if it had an overhang for the frunk it would either have to be a bigger car on the outside or a smaller car on the inside, not to mention the point that a significant front overhang would completely ruin the style of that van.

    Another benefit of not having a frunk could be having a better turning radius as well. If there isn’t a storage area or motor up towards the front wheels the wheels can turn more resulting in a better turning radius, like in the MEB cars like the ID.4 the turning radius is insanely good considering the size of the car.

  4. You do want good aerodynamics because efficiency is much more important in an EV than an ICE car. So you can’t make the snout arbitrarily short. Add the necessary crash structures to protect yourself (and the battery).


    Oh, and no..the Prius isn’t a short car. That may seem to you that way because americans are used to driving vehicles of tank size and upwards. That’s not normal the world over.

  5. I love my frunk, I like having a separate storage when I need it (which is quite often in my use) so it’s convenient. And no, while I wouldn’t mind one larger interior space, I also find a lot of use for the small frunk, so either way is a win to me.

  6. In aerodynamics, the more length you have available to work with, the easier it becomes to get air to travel over an object of a given height. The shallower your slope, the lower your drag coefficient. You need something in front of the passenger cabin to get the air over and around the passenger cabin. And low drag is essential for good EV mileage. That and crashworthiness. That said, you don’t have to make the hood look like an ICE car. I think the hood on the Mach E looks ridiculous.

  7. >Is it just for the aesthetics/aero/frunk, or does the crumple zone actually need to be that long?

    porsche 911 and VW Beetles had engines in the back – and a “frunk”

    on the ID Buzz you sit on the front wheel more or less (think Vanagon).


    >Plus, a shorter hood allows for better visibility of the road, both for the driver as well as the autonomous driving system

    the same holds true for ICE cars. if that was a major concern, all ICE cars would have engines in the back. not sure how “autonomy” is impacted one way or the other.. the sensors do not all sit in the driver’s seat.


    frunk doesn’t ***need*** to be anything – this is not an EV specific question.

  8. This is one of the reasons I like the EV6, pretty short hood given the overall dimensions of the car.

    IMO, all ‘ground up’ EV designs should have a short hood. I rather have the additional storage in the passenger compartment than a ‘frunk’ as it’s a much more efficient and practical design.

  9. what do you gain by chopping off the hood? you’re not gonna gain interior space because that’s where legs and feet go. it’s not like you’re gonna have a glovebox the size of a trunk. most cars, even evs, have a good amount of mechanical components in the front, which does free up other places in the interior to be usable. i would argue having a “conventional” hood actually *improves* interior space because all that stuff still has to go somewhere, and otherwise you would end up either raising the floor, having a “transmission tunnel” in the middle, or sacrificing trunk space to find space for all that stuff.

  10. Aside from rather not having my knees being used as a crumple zone, I do believe that in the styling department we’re at least a couple iterations away from small bonnets becoming acceptable on premium EVs. Currently there’s that association with econo-shitboxes with small engine configurations that’s hard to shake off.

  11. The decision on hood length involve many factors, the most important ones from a financial POV is desirability. There are many reasons the Chevy Bolt is a lot cheaper than a model 3/Y one of them is nobody is going to pay Tesla money for a car that looks like a Chevy Bolt.

    Personally, I agree that there are many good reasons to go for a shovel nose, but at least the hood area on the Teslas is used for extra storage. Mercedes doesn’t even want you to *open* the damn hood on the EQS!

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