One factor that Elon Musk emphasised concerning the Cybertruck throughout its unveil is that its design is about extra than simply aesthetics. We already know the thick, angular metal plates makes for a stronger body and theoretically decrease construct value, however it probably has one other profit too: aerodynamics.
The sooner a automotive goes, the extra it has to battle drag – basically the air pushing again on a shifting object. Normally, the decrease the automobile‘s drag coefficient, the simpler it’s for it to ‘lower’ via the air, and the higher its mileage can be (all else being equal). Whereas some fearful the Cybertruck‘s angular design would hamper its aerodynamics, the automobile seems to match favorably to present vans.
YouTube channel Boats and Engines put the Cybertruck‘s aerodynamics to the check utilizing computational fluid dynamics software program to mannequin the automobile‘s efficiency. It’s mainly a wind tunnel simulator.
He discovered that whereas there’s a little bit of addition drag on the very peak of the automobile, it’s an general surprisingly environment friendly design. The flat entrance of the automobile truly seems to work as an air splitter, easily redirecting airflow. The actual fact the truck comes with an built-in, stiff mattress cowl doesn’t damage.
Final week, aerospace engineer Justin Martin additionally simulated the Cybertruck’s aerodynamics and got here to related conclusions.
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Well, no one else did it so I did. Here is the #CyberTruck in CFD. What intrigues me is how well this works. While it may occur to be happenstance that the aero turns out quite well, I believe this was actually the result of very clever design. Ease of manufacturing in flat panels, significant use of triangulated body parts, etc. I won’t quote a drag coefficient, as I dont want to put words in anyone’s mouth, but I will place money on it being much lower than most sports cars (due to down force), and nearly any (1/2 ton) truck period. Further, I believe the vortex shed over the bed walls helps act to “seal the bed” when the cover is open. I havent modeled the open bed yet, but it sure seems promising. Further, it appears the front end is designed to almost entirely blank out / shield the wheel well…. The cad file is dimensionally correct, all angles and curves are as close as possible. There are some uncertainties such as fenders and wheel well air-exhaust etc. Lastly, at 65mph the local velocity over the roof “peak” is 88mph. Is this the ultimate Elon Easter Egg? @tesla #Tesla #TeslaTruck #CFD @elon
Boats and Engines acknowledges that his software program and mannequin aren’t correct sufficient to estimate the automobile‘s drag coefficient with full accuracy, however his outcomes nonetheless recommend that some worries over the Cybertruck‘s flat design are unfounded.
Extra telling is a comparability of the Cybertruck with two present automobiles, the Ford F150 and Dodge Ram 1500. Boats and Engines achieved a drag co-efficient of 0.39 at 60 mph for the Cybertruck, in comparison with 0.59 for the F150 and 0.56 for the Ram 1500.
Thoughts you, these differ from official stats. Dodge claims the Ram 1500 drag coefficient is as little as 0.36 on its Quad Cab 4×2 mannequin, making it probably the most slippery truck available on the market. Whereas Tesla hasn’t offered an official drag worth but, Elon Musk has mentioned that “with excessive effort, Cybertruck may hit a 0.30 drag coefficient, which might be insane for a truck.”
With excessive effort, Cybertruck may hit a 0.30 drag coefficient, which might be insane for a truck. Requires tweaking many small particulars. https://t.co/IMLJbsInmq
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 1, 2019
For comparability, Tesla‘s Mannequin 3, one of many slipperiest automobiles on the market, has a drag coefficient of simply 0.23.
After all, till the automobile truly hits the highway, that is all hypothesis. The Cybertruck doesn’t presently have facet mirrors, for one, and it’s doable its design might have to vary considerably to meet safety standards (these angular panels don’t look nice for pedestrian impacts).
It’s additionally price acknowledging that effectivity is probably going a much bigger deal to Cybetruck homeowners, who’ve to fret about vary throughout lengthy journeys and/or heavy hauls, whereas common truck homeowners can at all times cease on the nearest gasoline station. Lastly, the co-efficient of drag isn’t all the things, and different features will have an effect on the automobile‘s effectivity.
Nonetheless, the info to this point suggests the Cybertruck‘s kind follows operate; it cuts via the air extra simply than its boxy design might need you consider.
Revealed December 2, 2019 — 17:25 UTC