How much does aerodynamics help with fuel efficiency?



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    Half of the car’s fuel is used to propel the car though the air and the faster the car is travelling the harder it gets for it to push though the air. So aerodynamics is very important. Vehicle manufacturers use a so called drag co-efficiency to determine how aerodynamic the shape of the car is. To illustrate a cube has a co-efficiency of 1.05, a sphere 0.47, a streamlined body of 0.04. This is calculated using the following formula: Cd (drag) = Fd (drag force, which is by definition the force component in the direction of the flow velocity) / p (air density) x A (reference area). 

     An average car has a co-efficiency of around 0.3 – 0.4. Improving this number by just 0.01 equals to an improvement of around 0.2 mpgs. Unfortunately car designers are having a hard time designer cars that are significantly more efficient due to their shape. 

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