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Magnitude of drag and weight's effect to range

Discussion in 'Technical' started by emir-t, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. emir-t

    emir-t Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    So, after finding out in my previous thread that the biggest room for improvements on EV's engineering side is energy density from battery and reducing drag of the vehicle, I'm even more interested in the technical aspects of EVs. Driving regular gasoline powered cars you never think of range because you can refill it in a matter of minutes virtually everywhere. However with EVs, because charging takes a considerable amount of time and the infrastructure isn't even near 'everywhere' you always think of your range. Range depends on your battery pack size and your consumption of wH/km. Now, I'm no engineer but I wanna know the figures.

    Drag apparently is extremely important when it comes to range but how important? Could we quantify it? Say, if they manage to remove side-view mirrors from the Model X as reported at the first prototype phase, how much would it make the car's consumption of Wh/km go down? Or what would happen if door handles didn't retract with the Model S? Could anyone suggest readings regarding drag coefficients and range?

    Also weight, obviously there is a big difference between driving a Model S by yourself vs. with 7 passenger. Would anyone know how much an additional say, 100kms increase consumption? Or wind resistance even. I've heard some Tesla drivers pulling up behind trucks to cut wind resistance.

    There are so many factors and even though same factors effect ICE cars as well, people don't think about these in them since we take their range for granted having the ability fill up almost anywhere.

    IMO for the perfect conditions we'd need;
    - Superchargers at current rate yet so much more of them, 50kms apart at least. (so it fits to almost every situation in everyone's road trip) - sidenote; pessimistic side of me says this is a dream since I expect Tesla to cut the superchargers investments once they are 'able to cover' major portions of the world and won't go further to make them closer apart.
    - Cars with EPA rated range of 600-700km + because unlike gasoline cars, sustained high speed with EVs consumes even more of the battery. So, that 700km range would degrade to say 400 on the highway and people really do need to stop every 400km or so anyway while driving for a long time. With superchargers every 50kms that would be perfect and wouldn't affect your planning.

    We already got hints of improvement with the new Roadster having 640km range (that's probably with a pre defined set of conditions far away from the real world but still)
    The update Model S will probably have in 2020 could put it in the 700km range assuming they could improve on battery chemistry even more. However the Model 3 said to have 320km is nowhere near enough. Sure the Model 3 still would sell 6 figures easily with that range and that is serious figures but the actual masses, i.e. the whole world, doesn't even want a single compromise.

    I'm hopeful of this EV revolution and I hope we see days in the future as I've described above.

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