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The Aerodynamics of Future Electric Cars
Engineering and Construction
Pages 10 (2510 words)
Automobiles are an integral part of human lives and support transportation of goods and services alike. Conventional automobiles have had a dependence on fossil fuels including petroleum and gas derivatives such as gasoline, diesel and CNG (compressed natural gas), LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) respectively. …
Changes in global demand patterns, market forces, environmental concerns and the ever present danger of fleeting fossil fuel reserves are forcing automobile manufacturers and research scientists to look for alternative means to fuel automobiles. One facet of these developments has been electric vehicles that are powered exclusively through electric batteries. The emergence of electric vehicles has put in motion a number of new design challenges such as the aerodynamics of such vehicles because aerodynamics represent a large loss during normal functioning of all kinds of automobiles.
Drag created by a moving vehicle represents one of the largest losses of energy created by an automobile’s engine. Conventional automobiles may lose as much as 40% of the total power to air drag. (TUM, 2011) As with other conventional bodies, the aerodynamic drag exerted by air on a vehicle is directly proportional to the square of the velocity of the vehicle. Mathematically this can be expressed as:
F_D=1/2 ρv^2 C_D A
F_D is the total drag force
ρ is the density of the air
v is the velocity of the vehicle
C_D is the coefficient of drag
A is the area subject to the drag
For typically aerodynamic automobiles the coefficient of drag and the accompanying area need to be as small as possible in terms of design considerations in order to minimize the drag encountered. ...
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