Aerodynamics has direct impact on EV efficiency

Electric vehicles are being designed with sleek new profiles to help them cut through the air and improve battery range. By Freddie Holmes

Special Report: Electric vehicle design

Exterior design has broader implications than simply making a vehicle look good. The flow of body panels, design of the wheels and overall proportions all have a direct impact on vehicle performance, be it for top speed or optimum efficiency.

The sleeker a vehicle is, the more easily it can combat air resistance, a force that acts against the vehicle as it moves. Taller vehicles with boxy designs struggle to cut through the air while long, low-to-the-ground sports cars do so with relative ease. With available driving range on a single charge a key concern for electric vehicles (EVs), is the significance of aerodynamics growing?

Recent developments would indicate as such, with many new EVs being marketed as more aerodynamic than ever. Common descriptors being used—such as ‘clean’, ‘sleek’ and ‘smooth’—illustrate the broad design strategy for EV exteriors moving forward.

Mercedes-Benz EQS
The Mercedes EQS is one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever, owing to a new emphasis on extending battery range

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