Aerodynamics are a crucial consideration in modern EVs. Lowering aerodynamic drag improves efficiency, allowing for more range from a given battery-pack size.
But it surely bears emphasis: This is way from a brand new obsession.
A brand new exhibit curated by Audi in Germany highlights an earlier era of aerodynamic experimentation. Within the Thirties, engineers on the German automaker’s predecessor firms developed wild recent body shapes to assist reduce drag in combustion-engined cars.
Performance was as much a motivating factor as efficiency. Auto Union—one among the automakers later merged into the trendy incarnation of Audi—applied streamlined bodywork to its Type C race automobile in 1937, allowing it to achieve a top speed of 249 mph in a single speed-record run.
Similar principles were also applied to a road-car form factor with the Audi Type C Jaray. It wasn’t just German manufacturers, either—the Chrysler Airflow debuted in 1934 with wind-tunnel-tested styling. But within the case of each the Type C Jaray and the Airflow, aerodynamic designs were just too far out of step with customer tastes within the prewar years. This was long before gas mileage became a priority, so efficiency wasn’t much of a selling point.
Today, though, EVs have made aerodynamics a selling point. The Lucid Air is proudly proclaimed by its manufacturer to be essentially the most aerodynamically efficient luxury automobile, while Nio claims its EC7 is essentially the most aerodynamic SUV on the planet.
The solar-assisted Lightyear 0 claimed the title of most aerodynamic production automobile overall—with a coefficient of drag (Cd) or 0.175—but only just a few units were built. A recent concept automobile from Chinese automaker Chery claims a 0.168 Cd due to a body shape inspired by tuna, but it surely hasn’t been confirmed for production.
Electric cars themselves once gave internal-combustion cars (in addition to steam cars) competition for auto-industry dominance before fading away. And it bears some questions: Had EVs remained the dominant technology a century ago, would there have been more of an emphasis on aerodynamics in recent many years? And what would the form of today’s cars be if electric motors, somewhat than internal-combustion engines, had been the dominant type of propulsion through the twentieth century?
What if aero had never gone out of fashion? Leave your thoughts below.
This Article First Appeared At www.greencarreports.com