PDT an Astronics Company: Product Design and Development Firm in Chicago, IL


Automakers have turned toward electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in-hybrids  to round out their offerings and answer the call to offer more eco-friendly alternatives.


Startups have 1 or 2 vehicles, so they can be totally innovative, etc


Motors and batteries will become more standardized, GM came out with a battery (big breakthrough?) others invested in Rivian. Toyota, etc have so many skus, they can’t do the same thing. How will this play out?





Electric cars that run for 100,000 miles will leave a carbon footprint about


lower than petrol and diesel cars running the same distance.


How EVs are changing vehicle styling

Grills  |  Wheel Styling  |  Materials

photo: https://www.tesla.com/models

The front area of non-electric vehicles feature grills for air flow. Because this isn’t necessary on EVs, and what’s under the hood (as seen on this graphic from Tesla), is vastly different from combustion engine vehicles, styling also differs.

Several companies are working on solar panel technology to power electric vehicles.

What type of driver feedback is needed in combustion vs electric?


hybrid electric

plug-in hybrids

battery electric (EVS)


Hybrid electric vehicles use two engines to generate power: an internal combustion engine and an electric engine that’s used when the gasoline engine is least efficient.

Plug-in hybrid EVs are equipped with a battery that can be recharged two ways: by plugging it into external electric power, and via its on-board engine and generator.

EVs are built with batteries that are charged by plugging in to external electric power then storing electric energy that powers the motor.

Hydrogen powered vehicles use hydrogen as the fuel to produce electric energy, which is then used to power the vehicle.


Honda Accord Hybrid

Ford Fusion Hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

plug-in hybrids

Honda Plug-In Hybrid Display

photo: https://pressroom.toyota.com/image/2020_prius_prime_red_023/

electric vehicles

Chevrolet Bolt – boasting 259 miles on a charge.

Nissan Leaf – boasting 226 miles on a charge.

new battery technology

This month (March 2020), GM announced their all-new global EV platform. The platform consists of modular Ultium battery and drive unit combinations, designed to be flexible enough to build a wide range of trucks, SUVs, crossovers, cars and commercial vehicles. The key building blocks of the Ultium battery system are large scale, high-energy cells that will be the best large-format cells in the industry, and their modular approach is poised to drive significant economies of scale.

Learn More

Photo: GM


Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell – Hyundai is taking a different approach than battery-powered vehicles

decisions, decisions

Hyundai Ioniq comes in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric* versions (*only available in certain states)

how to display an ev

(Hint): it’s with a charger.


Audi E-Tron

Honda Clarity EV (with ChargePoint display)

Hyundai Kona

Ford displayed a very familiar-looking charging station.

Porsche Taycan

Jaguar Electric I-Pace SUB (with ChargePoint display)


Electric vehicle chargers give automakers an opportunity to reinforce their brand language in a brand extension.



Electrify America has a membership program and connected app for EV drivers to use their fast chargers.



Autonomy is becoming a selling point in many electric vehicles, but typically not in combustion-engine vehicles...why?


mustang Mach-e

Interestingly, Ford has decided to leverage the Mustang name in these new EVs, but still have the traditional Mustang sports car too. The Mustang name is now being used as brand like Nike does with the Jordan brand, applied to multiple offerings rather than one model.



300 mi

0-60 mph


range (Ext range, RWD, EPA Est target)


in mid-3 seconds.

According to Car and Driver, the most popular color for Mach-E orders is Carbonized Grey, one of the hottest new colors on the show floor. Learn more about the colors of 2020 by clicking here



Porsche’s first EV, the Taycan, is the first electric vehicle to be built on an 800-volt electrical architecture.

3.9 s

192 mi

155 mph

0-60 mph with launch control

driving range (EPA estimate)


driving range (EPA estimate)

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