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The Aerodynamics of Future Electric Cars - Research Paper Example

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The Aerodynamics of Future Electric Cars

The researcher states that 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. 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. 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. There has been an ongoing struggle to create vehicles with as low a coefficient of drag as possible. Typically well designed vehicles display coefficients of drag of the order of 0.13 while a coefficient of drag of 0.1 is achievable through special design considerations....
Moreover considerations of an acoustical nature are also reduced through the use of electric engines that produce far less noise than conventional engines. However this has been criticized for increasing danger to blind people because the incoming vehicle would not possess a sound. (The Week, 2010) Based on these considerations it can be seen that the design of electric vehicles is an altogether different domain from conventional automobile design. The inclusion of new components such as the electric engines places new constrains on design that require solutions through out of the box thinking. This paper will attempt to describe the various major challenges being posed in terms of design and their current solutions along with their future outlook. 2. Conventional Automobile Packaging and Acoustics Conventional automobiles have been built and packaged in nearly the same way for decades. The early pioneering research into automobiles has created a stable platform that is dogmatically used as per vehicle class and usage. For example most passenger cars created along conventional design philosophy house the engine in the front and use a front wheel drive system while load carriers such as trucks use front mounted engines with rear wheel drive. Moreover recent advances in computational fields have allowed designers to create more light weight and singular construction frames better known as monocques. While some of these design elements such as a light weight bodies, four wheels and singular construction have been applied to building electrical vehicles but other packaging constraints have changed altogether. The design configuration and considerations for conventional automobiles are being ...Show more


This research aims to evaluate and present the aerodynamics of future electric cars. There are a number of design challenges associated with creating electric vehicles but continuous research and development has the potential of solving these problems with the added use of innovative design techniques…
Author : boylelaurel
The Aerodynamics of Future Electric Cars essay example
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