Better fuel economy due to aerodynamics

Over the last ten years, the fuel price (of crude oil) has almost quadrupled. On top of that, the exhaust gasses of cars and other vehicles are a big concern for sustainability. Will aerodynamics help us with saving money and, more importantly, the earth?

Since the 60’s-70’s, manufacturers have tried to reduce the drag (the air resistance) of race cars. The less drag on the car, the less power is needed to propel the car. The less power is needed, the faster the car can go and the longer the car can drive before running out of fuel.

The research done for race cars have also found their way into passenger cars. Using this research, passenger cars can be made more fuel economic and will increase sustainability. However, there is a limit to how much the drag can be reduced, because of practical considerations.

I think that reducing the drag of a car is very important in both ways. As fuel is indeed becoming more and more expensive and the fuel reserves are running low, we need to reduce the need for fuel. This can be done by reducing the drag of the car. And it will also open up the road towards electric cars and other technologies. Many people still decide against an electric car because it has a lower reach. If we can reduce the drag on a car, the reach of an electric car will increase and more people will be inclined to buy one.

Less fuel consumption will also mean that the environment will suffer less from our transportation. However, there is of course the risk that people will start being careless about the environment, because of all the improvements currently being done.

Source: USC http://illumin.usc.edu/252/drag-reduction-the-pursuit-of-better-fuel-economy/

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2 Comments

  1. What is the best way to reduce the drag of the CQS car? Only the front of the car (closed grills like the volkswagen bluemotion) or also the use of a spoiler?

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  2. The best way to reduce the drag of the CQS car, is not that easily to determine. We are currently doing simulations as to where the drag is the highest and what can be changed. Whether we will add a spoiler or not, still has to be determined. Further we have to make sure that if we reduce the drag, that the lift is not too high, or the CQS car will have a tendency to try to lift off (reducing turning capabilities and if there is enough lift, even acceleration due to lack of friction with the ground).

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