Tesla Motors and the electrical infrastructure

Looking at the electrical cars they came up with, Tesla Motors is doing a great job. Hopefully in the future this kind of technology would eliminate most of the greenhouse gases emissions due to road transportation.

Even if there’s actually a boom of customers for the next Tesla Model 3, a critical problem persists. The infrastructure of electrical charging points. Is there any real infrastructure able to guarantee the access to large number of cars?

Based on what can be found on Tesla Motors website, after charging the batteries for 30 minutes you get:

  • Home 11 kW -27 km
  • Chademo 50 kW – 137 km
  • Supercharger 120 kW -270 km

By improving the power there is a reduction of the recharging time. However even this way if there’s a need to charge the batteries of 10 cars, unless your electric station has a very high available power, it will prove to be quite difficult to do in short time.

So, the real news here is not Tesla launching a new car model. They actually plan to expand their charge stations based on Supercharger technology. This will be part of the infrastructure that will allow and easy expansion of electric cars on the market.

Now… non everyone has 11 kW Home power, and cars still cost a lot. The huge demand of electricity, imagining all cars will be electric,  will bring a rise of prices for electrical power. So there’s still much to be done.

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Improvement of car stability through aerodynamics

The study of car aerodynamics brings important improvement to the stability and therefore safety of cars. By improving safety we get major power efficiency and a lower environmental impact.

Aspects where aerodynamics could give important contribution:

  • turn
  • high speed stability
  • stop the car

The pressure field around the car plays a fundamental role in each of these 3 use phases. However the aerodynamic configuration it’s not unique. Therefore the field of pressure around the car body may need to be changed passing from one phase to another.

Hence variable aerodynamics is the best choice. Spoilers, flaps of airbrakes could be use as mobile surfaces able to generate the desired field of pressure. However the use of this technical components is regulated by specific automotive legislation.

A complementary way of improving the control of pressure can be realized by air blowing, like in the case of airplane low speed blowing flaps, or air suction, governing the boundary layer and avoid flow separation. This solution is however more complex and expensive since it requires dedicated pumps and motors.

This article was driven by an idea. Combine the mobile surfaces and the active govern of airflow techniques in order to change the field of pressure by using dynamic surfaces. A car without mobile flaps or any other open moving object that changes shape of its body according to instantaneous conditions of use.

However building a car that changes shape it’s not simple. Major changes must be done in many areas starting from safety issues. Materials would also need to change radically. In the end cars could become lighter, more environmental friendly and secure.