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Front license plate - does it actually affect Wh/mi?

cybrown

Member
Jun 21, 2013
49
0
Maryland
Apologies if I've missed previous data on this one - has anyone actually performed a controlled experiment testing the differing drag forces with and without a front license plate? Does a front plate affect the drag enough that your Wh/mi show noticeable increase? Is there any difference between the various front mount options (on nose, on grille below nose, etc.)? I live in MD where front plates are required, but I might be willing to risk a ticket if it makes a big difference in power usage.
 
Dec 3, 2012
460
35
Elizabeth, CO
I am willing to bet that having a front license plate on the Tesla Model S hurts the cd somewhat (not to mention the looks). I know quite a few people are just going without, until and unless they get a fixit ticket.
 

K5ING

MegaMiler
Feb 6, 2013
293
65
Denton, Texas
I wonder about the legalities of producing a photorealistic decal, or "wrap" of your license plate to apply to the nose. It wouldn't help the looks issue too much, but it would solve the aerodynamic and mounting issues.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
18,278
151
Nevada
I wonder about the legalities of producing a photorealistic decal, or "wrap" of your license plate to apply to the nose. It wouldn't help the looks issue, but would solve the aerodynamic and mounting issue.

At least in Texas that is considered not legal. It must be the physical plate given by the state. Likely the same in other states as well.
 

K5ING

MegaMiler
Feb 6, 2013
293
65
Denton, Texas
At least in Texas that is considered not legal. It must be the physical plate given by the state. Likely the same in other states as well.

It may not comply with the letter of the law, but as long as it was readable by license plate readers, it would comply with the spirit of the law, especially when the alternative is no plate at all. In other words, I'm guessing most cops would give you a "pass" on it as opposed to having no plate.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
18,278
151
Nevada
It may not comply with the letter of the law, but as long as it was readable by license plate readers, it would comply with the spirit of the law, especially when the alternative is no plate at all. In other words, I'm guessing most cops would give you a "pass" on it as opposed to having no plate.

It would act like no plate though in that if they wanted to pull you over or they already had pulled you over for speeding then they'd use that against you. I would love the vinyl plate option and hope state legislators start officially supporting it.
 

Lloyd

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2011
6,258
2,048
San Luis Obispo, CA
I wonder about the legalities of producing a photorealistic decal, or "wrap" of your license plate to apply to the nose. It wouldn't help the looks issue too much, but it would solve the aerodynamic and mounting issues.

It does not supply to 'radar signature' that is needed for the local municipalities to be able to more easily judge your speed and issue you a citation.
 

K5ING

MegaMiler
Feb 6, 2013
293
65
Denton, Texas
It would act like no plate though in that if they wanted to pull you over or they already had pulled you over for speeding then they'd use that against you. I would love the vinyl plate option and hope state legislators start officially supporting it.

I agree, but it may keep you from getting pulled over *just* for not having a front plate (which has happened to me...thank you DPS). If it could be approved, it can still be issued by either the state or any third part plate supplier such as MyPlates in Texas. It would have to be properly contoured for the car it was going on unless it's going to be on a perfectly flat surface tho.

It does not supply to 'radar signature' that is needed for the local municipalities to be able to more easily judge your speed and issue you a citation.

Yeah...too bad about that. :tongue:
 

bollar

Disgruntled Member
May 1, 2013
2,667
878
Southlake, TX
It seems like the cool solution would be to modify the nose cone to fit a recessed plate and put a Lexan or other clear cover over the plate so that the front drag is not altered. This would be legal in Texas -- maybe other states have a different requirement.

In any event, I shed a tear each time I see a nice car with a front license plate.
 

Dave EV

Active Member
Jun 23, 2009
1,674
1,070
San Diego
I highly doubt you'd be able to measure any difference outside of a very sensitive wind-tunnel. Mounting it in front of the grill opening it might reduce Cd. On the nose-cone it will be negligible either way. There's simply not a lot of air flowing over the plate - the blunt shape of the bumper creates a high pressure zone that air flows over fairly readily.
 

Quacker

Member
Nov 25, 2012
37
0
California
If you get a fixit ticket just temporarily install the front plate using velcro or tape, and grind down some screws and glue the ends of them to the holes to make it look like you actually screwed the plate in.
 

alexkiritz

Member
Feb 11, 2012
75
0
Los Angeles

scaesare

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
8,242
13,177
NoVA
It seems like the cool solution would be to modify the nose cone to fit a recessed plate and put a Lexan or other clear cover over the plate so that the front drag is not altered. This would be legal in Texas -- maybe other states have a different requirement.

In any event, I shed a tear each time I see a nice car with a front license plate.

I believe the guys who did the Center Console Insert (soflauthor ?) were working on something like this...
 

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