Car companies have sometimes been wary of the phrase ‘platform’ in the past, often preferring ‘architecture’ to define an engineering structure that pertains mostly to the parts between a car’s front and where the driver sits.
In a typical internally combusted car, it’s where the expensive bits are: the powertrain, the electronics, and complex bits of the crash structure.
Creating many different models from one common architecture, then, is cheaper than redoing the whole shebang for each one.
But it brings limitations: there’ll be different engine sizes, the beefiest of which will need more cooling, which might define the car’s bonnet height, which determines windscreen height, and therefore roughly where the driver sits and the roof height.
They are restrictions that would make a car proportioned like the ID Buggy impossible to produce (unless based on a Porsche 911, I suppose). But most EVs use – and there’s no great shame in the phrase this time – a genuine platform kinda thing; a skateboard-like tray of batteries along the floor between a car’s axles, and a relatively compact electric drive unit at either end – maybe both.
Granted, I’m simplifying. But it’s a less complex mechanical set-up than an ICE car, and the possibilities almost feel like a return to the old coach-building days: take your common platform, stretch it to whatever length you like, and apply bodywork around it.
Good aerodynamics increase an EV’s range but, on a Buggy, does that matter? There are fewer weight restrictions than on an ICE car because even a heavy EV has zero tailpipe emissions. And if you want a low rear deck (as on, say, a VW Microbus), put the motor at the front. If you want a low front (as on the Buggy), put it at the rear.