A new debate is raging among the world’s automotive companies, and it will likely take years to sort out. Its simple question: Should electric cars be constructed differently from combustion-engine cars? Ulf Sudowe says yes. The r&d director for chassis at Spanish supplier Gestamp Automoción gives the example of the time it tested an electric motor on the subframe of a standard Volkswagen Up minicar. “Everything was destroyed,” Sudowe said. The ramp-up of torque for an electric motor happens so fast, he said, that a standard subframe couldn’t cope. For the electric e-Up, Gestamp developed a unique subframe. But the difference between the two meant that new stamping dies were needed for the new subframe, increasing the costs and complexity of producing the electric version.