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Tesla Semi aerodynamics

Tesla Semi aerodynamics

Hi all,

I want to share a preliminary study that we've done on the Tesla Semi truck:
the claimed drag coefficient of 0.35 is pretty impressive, so we ran a simulation on the Tesla Semi as well as on a reference truck.

Despite our 3D model being based on internet images, we indeed got a drag coefficient of 0.35!
So even taking quite some margin of error into account, this is still a massive improvement over convential trucks.
Should anyone have access to a more detailed model (Mr. Elon Musk, if you read this, just send it through!), we'd be happy to run a more detailed simulation!

You can download the full article here:
https://www.airshaper.com/media/tesla_semi.pdf

Simulation reports can be found here:
https://www.airshaper.com/reports/truck.pdf
https://www.airshaper.com/reports/tesla_semi.pdf

I'm much looking forward to your thoughts and comments on this one!

Cheers,

Wouter.

TeslaTap.com | January 5, 2018

That's cool that you can do all that work from pictures! I'm sure it was quite a task. Maybe Tesla will become a client, or more likely a few competitors :) Thanks for sharing.

georgehawley.fl.us | January 5, 2018

Impressive that you were able to match the Tesla numbers. I think that conventional diesel trucks run around .6 give or take. .35 is indeed a major improvement and vital for a battery-powered truck that uses somewhere around 1.8 kWh per mile at 65 mph.

wouter | January 11, 2018

Hi all,

thanks for the comments!
Indeed reducing drag is vital for Tesla, perhaps even more than for a conventional truck, where increasing range means perhaps adding 100kg of fuel instead of 500kg of batteries. Looking forward to see it on the road :)

Best regards!

Wouter.

lagrazna | January 11, 2018

Nice!

Earl and Nagin ... | January 11, 2018

@wouter,
Good job.
I suspect that the trailer will be the dominating factor on energy consumption for the Tesla Semi. Maybe Tesla or someone will come up with more creative ways to reduce their drag while still maintaining the necessary modularity and practicality they require.
Or, perhaps we'll just start moving more goods by rail where Cd and weight really don't affect energy consumption much.

wouter | January 12, 2018

Hi Earl and Nagin,

indeed, I think they have captured most of the gains at the front!
There are a lot of concepts already out there to reduce drag of the trailer itself (see Wabco etc).

Regulations make it a bit tricky sometimes to go wild on trailer concepts!

Wouter.