The responsibility of the grille is to offer air circulation in the engine bay of a vehicle.
But if you’ve seen electric cars, you’ll notice they lack grilles.
Why do EVs lack grilles? We answer that question and more in this article.
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Here’s the short answer to whether electric cars have grilles:
Electric cars don’t have grilles found in internal combustion engines because they don’t have fuel-burning engines that get hot and require external air cooling to operate at normal temperatures. You may still find small adjustable grilles on a few EVs, but the majority of electric cars lack the feature.
What Are Grilles Typically Used for in Cars?
Grilles serve ventilation and aesthetic purposes in a car. The grille helps to provide adequate air circulation to maintain an optimal engine temperature by passing fresh air over the radiator to cool the hot engine coolant in it. A grille is also used to beautiful a car.
When the air cannot enter through the grille, this can increase the engine’s temperature and cause it to overheat.
Do Electric Vehicles Need a Grille?
All electric cars, including Tesla, do not need a grille as they do not possess a combustion engine in the front.
These vehicles use batteries and electric motors, which don’t require grilles to maintain an optimal operating temperature.
Why Electric Vehicles Don’t Have Grilles
Most electric vehicles do not have grilles because they do not need cooling like the cars with combustion engines. For instance, the radiator in a vehicle with a combustion engine utilizes the wind that comes through the grille to cool the hot engine coolant, preventing overheating.
Electric vehicles use electric motors powered by batteries, ensuring that heat is not generated and does not need a cooling system.
Gasoline and diesel engines are not as efficient as electric vehicles. According to a study, 30% of the energy is used for movement, and the remaining power is converted into heat.
This heat builds up in the engine and could likely start a fire. This is the reason why most vehicles with combustion engines require cooling systems with a giant radiator to suppress the heat.
A large grille will allow the radiator to achieve sufficient airflow to prevent overheating.
On the other hand, electric vehicles have a much smaller cooling system. In electric cars, batteries and motors are efficient components that ensure the proper movement of the vehicle.
With these components, there is a small amount of waste heat, and a big radiator will not be needed by the electric cars.
Some electric car manufacturers want to give buyers the impression that their cars have a grille. For instance, The Jaguar I-Pace has a system that allows airflow through the grille.
Do Electric Cars Need Vents?
Electric cars don’t need exterior vents, but the climate control system requires vents to circulate hot or cold air in the cabin.
Most electric vehicle manufacturers use the front end to portray their brand image. Since electric cars do not have hot combustion engines, they do not need the grilles that have shaped the expression of vehicles over the years, with big air vents to cool off.
Electric vehicles have different components that need venting, including the power train, lighting, electronics, and horns. These components are affected by weather conditions, heat, and moisture changes.
Do Electric Cars Even Need Cooling At All?
Most electric vehicles have an in-built cooling system. One of the crucial factors that affects the performance of the battery is temperature. It is important to note that extreme cold or hot temperatures can make an EV battery degrade quickly.
Most auto producers ensure the installation of cooling systems to keep the battery pack in an optimal temperature range.
It is important to know the various four different types of cooling systems that are used for battery-powered electronics. Here are examples of the cooling systems:
- Phase Change Material System: It ensures the absorption of heat energy by changing its state from solid to liquid form.
- Air Cooling System: It utilizes convection to transfer heat from the battery pack.
- Liquid Cooling System: It has a higher heat conductivity and heat absorption ability than air and performs better than other cooling systems.
- Cooling Fins System: It increases the surface area to improve the heat transfer rate.
In most cases, most electric car manufacturers prefer liquid cooling systems over other cooling systems. The reason is that they are the best in maintaining an optimal and consistent battery temperature.
Why Do Some Electric Cars Have a Grille Anyway?
Some electric cars have grilles for aesthetics and cooling purposes. While EVs don’t have combustion engines that require air from the surroundings to get cool, they possess some features that get hot.
Components of the climate control system, the battery pack and even the motors can benefit from airflow to keep cool.
However, you won’t find large grilles on EVs. What you’ll likely see are small grilles drivers can open to improve cooling or close to increase the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
Electric vehicles do not have large grilles, and they are highly efficient. However, they have a small grille usually placed in the car front because they need less cooling than vehicles with combustion engines.
For instance, the Tesla Model X, Y, and 3 possess small grilles inserted into the bumper bottom.
Do Tesla Models Have Grilles?
There is no need for electric vehicles to have a grille as they do not have a combustion engine in the front.
The grille on the old Model S of Tesla was just there for aesthetic looks and to give people an impression that their cars have grilles.
The TM3 720 has a carbon front spoiler, customized 21″ alloys, and tinted rear windows-based on the Model 3 Performance. This design looks like a grille, however, it is just a marker designed for artistic purposes.