Range anxiety? What range do you get? Range dominates when discussing electric vehicles. State of charge, whether to use the heater, when to coast or use regen? All laudable points which have seemingly surpassed style, stance, top speed and driving dynamics.
In our recent past life dealing with modern MG petrol engined cars, CO2 rating and emissions were (understandably) the dominant concerns; especially when manufacturers face fines for exceeding specified targets. In the Chassis department, we were constantly challenged to reduce rolling friction (wheel bearings and seals, brake drag, tyre rolling resistance etc). Very reasonable requests despite the minimal gains vs expenditure which isn’t ideal for a ‘budget’ brand. But to coin a phrase, did we address the elephant in the room?
A substantial factor in real world fuel economy (whether combustion engine or EV) is aerodynamic efficiency. Hence the efforts by most vehicle manufacturers to reduce aerodynamic drag. Less drag means less fuel used. I particularly like aero efficiencies that also give greater stability. Many cars that I’ve been involved with suffered diminishing stability with speed, susceptibility to crosswinds and a resulting lack of driver confidence. Adding insult to injury, one recent example started to focus the mind at anything over 70mph, at which point the wipers started to lift off the screen….
Aerodynamic efficiency makes sense. We all know it. So, what about the elephant? Ah, that will be the SUV. Yes, they offer an ease of entry and a commanding view (of the equally large car) ahead. They also offer space for batteries below the floor. But even with attention to aerodynamic detail, the frontal area is still taking its toll on range.
We have recently been updating a client’s MG ZS EV (last mentioned in December 2020 when it received our VHS ‘stage 1’ rear dampers). Having received good feedback (much better rear axle control, enhanced security, and comfort) after a couple of months of mixed use, it was time to add our VHS ‘stage 2’ front struts. The drive around our mixed road test route reminded us how enjoyable a car can be to drive, regardless of propulsion method. Enhanced agility, mid corner grip and composure, ride maturity…. simply a pleasure to drive down a challenging road. The car is now back with our client so that he can evaluate the results before fitting ‘stage 3’ lowering springs. These springs have been developed to offer a lower ride height, with increased rates to offer greater progression into bump and a more engaging handling balance. Did I mention the lower ride height? Won’t that reduce frontal area and improve aerodynamic efficiency?
Range anxiety? Our dynamic suspension kit: driving efficiency and enjoyment.