This Is How Car Makers Increase The Range Of Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (1)

Electric Vehicles are a perfect green alternative to the conventional carbon emitting vehicles so why do people not prefer using electric cars, in general?

One reason why people avoid buying electric vehicles is that these cars are evolving so fast that anything that the users may invest on may go into obsolescence soon. The major no-go reason for electric vehicles is that the battery technology has limitations thus, rendering the electric vehicles inconvenient as they have limited range. If you go on a long trip on an electric vehicle, you will definitely have to make a stop for a fast charge unless the car is a hybrid with a petrol or gas backup.

With the improvement in technology, the newest electric cars have considerably increased range. The electric vehicles are becoming popular, and car makers are in a race to create the best Electric Vehicle (EV) technology in the market. Experimentation with different parameters suggests that aerodynamic optimization is a key feature of these vehicles’ performance. Just a 10% reduction in drag can increase the range of the vehicle by 5%.

In an SAE article, Tesla reported that using digital simulations, the drag coefficient in the early concept of Model S was improved by 0.08. According to an estimate, improvement of 0.08 in the drag coefficient would have increased the range of the car by 50 miles.

To reduce the drag of a vehicle, every detail matters. The design of EV focuses on reducing wind resistance. The electric vehicles almost never have sharp edges on the front, and the underbody is made flat so the flow of air from the front to the rear is smooth. The Faraday Future FF91 is designed with a smooth rounded nose, that aids the airflow. All the parts, especially the wheels, are designed to manage the airflow interaction in the most optimal way.

Faraday Future FF-91
Source: Wired

A critical factor in the aerodynamic efficiency is the shape of the wheel arch. The wheel arch accounts for about one-third of the total drag of the vehicle. The FF91 concept is designed with Aerologic Wheels, the kinetic shape of which creates a perfect aerodynamic form at high speeds. If the influence of these wheels is minimized in restricting the airflow to the rear of the car, a much-improved vehicle performance can be achieved.

Having a boxy design does not show that the car has a really bad aerodynamic performance. If proper time and expertise are applied to a design, it can be made aerodynamically efficient. The shape of the car is good enough, as long as you avoid the ‘stair stepping’ effect which hinders airflow. The Chrysler Portal is one such example that has a boxy design but shares some attributes common with the FF91. It has a sleek surface with nicely rounded up edges and a closed up wheel arch design to achieve appropriate aerodynamic efficiency.

Chrysler Portal
Source: Autoblog

On the front of an electric vehicle, you won’t usually see large front grille opening as the EVs have very different cooling requirements from the conventional vehicles. All electric vehicles have to be designed with the best aerodynamic efficiency that adds to both vehicle performance and its range because zero emissions is just not a good enough reason to buy electric cars.

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1 Comment

  1. Jayram Daya Reply

    The world’s motor users are slumbering in the comfort zone of the addictive use of petrol and diesel vehicles. It has been there from birth to death and the clever motor manufacturers have taken advantage of this to increase their ever increasing profits.
    The laws must change or the unavailability of fossil fuels will change the mind set of people, compliant to the new ideas of electric cars. When the electric cars become freely available user friendly solutions will be the final design in the evolution of such cars.
    The governments must introduce laws that in certain areas only electric cars are allowed and the ball will start moving.

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