The role of Aerodynamics on Light Electric Vehicles Range
At Eevam, being experts in electric vehicle design and development, we provide engineering solutions and technology consulting for electric mobility, keeping a constant watch on the trends and technological needs of the market.
One of the most interesting areas when talking about electric vehicles is the maximization of range. Enough range is very important to the success of the product, and achieving the intended value given the particular vehicle restrictions (cost, shape, weight, etc.) is a challenge on all projects.
A right sizing of the powertrain for the application , and in particular, of the Battery pack, is very important. But considering issues such as space limitations, or the impact that an increase in the capacity of the battery has on the cost and weight of the vehicle, it is possible to consider other ways to achieve the intended range. And this is especially important in the context of light electric vehicles, such as motorcycles or quadricycles.
At EEVAM we are specialized in the mathematical vehicle and powertrain model, to later carry out simulations considering different cases and driving cycles, which allows us to obtain an approximation to the vehicle range value we are designing.
Based on these simulations, we will identify high potential improvement areas and we will carry out several iterations with different modifications until we reach our goals.
In these simulations, we model and characterise the different forces that resist the vehicle advancement using energy until the battery is drained, which allows us to be aware of their importance and consider ways to minimize them, with the aim of increasing the range without increasing the battery capacity.
Among these forces stands out aerodynamic resistance, which becomes very important for traditional cruising speed while driving on the road.
A intelligent design of the vehicle’s fairing allows the aerodynamic resistance to aerodynamic resistance, providing key improvements to efficiency that will have more or less impact on the range depending on the vehicle’s external case. All of this is reflected in the driving cycle which will be simulated.
However, the development of a vehicle usually has aesthetic constraints. And these are especially important in the case of vehicles such as electric motorcycles. Therefore, independent of its aerodynamics benefits, not just any shape can be acceptable to create a fairing.
In order to be able to solve this problem in the best way for our customers, from EEVAM we plan to study, in a general way, the aerodynamic optimization problem subject to geometric restrictions for the purpose of range optimization in light electric vehicles..
That is why we have had the help of Manuel Colera Rico, professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, who is specialized in areas such as applied mathematics, numerical methods and fluid mechanics.
Manuel Colera has carried out an examination of the different existing methods in industry and academia, which aim is to optimize aerodynamic shapes. As a result, EEVAM is pleased to publish the White Paper titled “A brief review of methods for aerodynamic shape optimization. Finding an optimal shape to improve EV range under given design constraints.”
This line of work tries to find and define an optimization method that enables our clients to place on the market vehicles of the highest quality, both aesthetic and functional. And it belongs to EEVAM’s vision of keeping up with technical issues of electric vehicles. Therefore, after this, there will be more interesting developments and we will keep you informed of them.