Bizarre drive buttons placement in electric cars

Since electric cars are all the rage these days I’ve noticed a particularly bizarre design decision when it comes to electric cars. In nearly all electric cars they have this really bizarre and illogical placement of drive buttons (Drive, Reverse, Neutral, Park etc).

Here is an example from Hyundai Ioniq Electric (2017, but they haven’t changed it for 2019 models either)…


You can argue that they are meaningfully ordered and designed so you have palm/wrist resting on the leather pad and you have access to all buttons at once…

But why is DRIVE button on the left, REVERSE button on the right, PARK “in the front” and NEUTRAL “in the back”?


Wouldn’t linear placement in the direction of car driving and position make more sense? DRIVE in the front facing the hood, because that’s the direction you’ll be driving. Forward. NEUTRAL still in the front because it’s used to just roll forward with no resistance. PARK to the rear and REVERSE all the way in the back facing boot, because that’s the direction you’ll be going if selected. It’s a natural order with directions you’ll be going when selected.

Hell, even such placement would make more sense…


Same arrangement, with different button placement. Drive and Reverse in front and back and Park and Neutral on the sides with Park on driver side because you’ll be using it more and Neutral to the right because you’ll be using it less.

I know you can argue that it doesn’t matter and it’s a petty thing, but I’ve seen a new Peugeot 208 Electric having shifter lever almost like in petrol cars with old sequential shifter, but with drive modes INVERTED! Drive was pulling lever to the back of the car. Reverse was pushing the lever to the front. WHY? I see people getting confused with pedals and gears in petrol cars, ramming them through store fronts and into pools and you’d expect they’d strive for simplicity and natural logical order with EV’s, but they instead opted for this illogical unnatural order.

The palm rest in Hyundai is silly, electric cars don’t require you to hold the hand over shifter, because they don’t have any gears. You don’t need arrangement around the palm rest. So why not do it linearly or even with same arrangement, but with drive direction placement of buttons instead of just tossing them in there?

I’m not hating on Hyundai in particular, I actually really like Hyundai as a brand because they have really good unpretentious cars, but this really bothered me and I’ve noticed other EV’s do the same weird thing…


1 thought on “Bizarre drive buttons placement in electric cars

  1. think they are basing it more towards a manual as gears are usually toward the left and reverse is to the right with neutral in the middle.


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