Overcoming Electric Vehicle Challenges: Aerodynamics

Overcoming Electric Vehicle Challenges: Aerodynamics

Vehicle manufacturers are facing challenges on all sides. Electric and autonomous vehicles intensify the challenge, bringing big opportunities to experiment with form but also increased risk, as designers don’t yet have tried and trusted data to tell them what has worked in the past. In addition, customers expect the experience of driving any new car to match the promises of its eye-catching style. Trade-offs between looks and performance are no longer acceptable and to avoid them, manufacturers need a rapid, robust process that brings styling and engineering together from the start.


In the automotive market, one race is toward the electrification of vehicles. Several major automobile manufacturers already offer electric cars, including TeslaKiaBMWNissanChevroletFord, and Volkswagen but we are also seeing a rise in new players, and start-up businesses who are coming to the market with viable products.

This pressure is leaving manufacturers with a sense of urgency to develop their own electric vehicles to keep up with their competitors and satisfy the needs of a growing number of customers who want to drive vehicles that make less of a negative impact on the environment. Can simulation help?

During our ‘Overcoming Electric Vehicle Challenges’ series, we will be exploring various challenges faced by manufacturers looking to pioneer electric and autonomous vehicle technology. In this article, we will be focusing on Aerodynamics.


Why is Aerodynamic Performance so crucial to the success of Electric Vehicles?

One of the biggest challenges for Electric Vehicle manufacturers is the issue of range or lack thereof in comparison to traditional combustion engine cars. Since the issue of range anxiety holds back many potential buyers, aerodynamics plays a crucial role in the success of electric vehicles – The more streamlined the car, the longer the range for the same battery.

Every kWh/m of energy consumption that can be shaved makes the car cheaper to manufacture, lighter, and more efficient. This is because the vehicle will require less battery cells to go the same distance, therefore reducing battery weight, and resulting in a lower rolling resistance

How can Simulation support Electric Vehicle Aerodynamic Performance?

Simulation allows designers and engineers to create and test virtual models of vehicles while avoiding the time and cost of building multiple physical prototypes. In general, simulation enables the final product to be built faster, to higher engineering standards, while reducing costs. This is especially important in a crowded automotive market where manufacturers are under pressure to expand their range and offer custom configurations. When it comes to those radical ideas for new EV designs, having simulation tools to give feedback on how untried vehicle shapes will perform is essential to move the industry forward.


Find out more in our On-Demand Webinar: Aerodynamic Design for Electric Vehicles

Electrification and autonomy are two of the most important emerging technologies that are leading the automotive industry revolution. This revolution has been made possible by the ability to digitally simulate, study, and improve vehicle aerodynamics, helping engineers to uncover new ways to improve efficiencies, save energy, and boost range.

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