Paul Compton via EV wrote:
Drag factor is a load of crap.
It's drag in terms of force required to propel a vehicle at a given
speed that's important.
The drag factor is derived from that force and a reference area.
Inconsistencies in the way that area is calculated for road vehicles,
makes drag factor mostly a marketing figure.
I agree. CD is a useful metric from a designer's point of view. Design engineers
will define precisely how they are measuring drag, and then test various models
under identical conditions to find out what helps, and what hinders. They are
likely to use small scale models, in a wind tunnel. The models don't move, and
their wheels aren't turning; the air is blown over them. The models often aren't
"finished"; they have no lights, rear view mirrors, door seams, the bottom is
smooth, etc. The results are relative; but don't apply all that well to the
Unfortunately, it gets twisted by marketing, and used for advertising purposes.
They'll take the CD for the best model, and pretend it applies to the real car.
Or simply make it up, to be a notch better than whatever the competition just
As to the original question: "Why do electric vehicles have to look so ugly"?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and constantly changes depending on
fashion. Just look at what were considered to be "beautiful" cars over the
years! Some that were once considered gorgeous now look hideous!
Given the present state of the art, EVs do not have "power to waste" like ICEs.
EVs *have* to be designed more efficiently. That forces the stylists to give at
least some say to the engineers. EVs look the way they do because they *work
better* that way. In its own way, that is beautiful, too.
We ascribe beauty to that which is simple, with no superfluous parts;
which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things, and
is the mean of many extremes. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when
I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)