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Author Topic: Electric Vehicles  (Read 22959 times)

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All the "it's ugly" comments actually surprised me.
« Reply #600 on: November 25, 2019, 02:40:43 pm »
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Why Is The Tesla Cybertruck A Giant Triangle?   

November 24th, 2019 by Kurt Lowder

Why is the Tesla Cybertruck a giant triangle? The list of potential answers below is randomly ordered, not in order of importance. Some of the reasons are more speculative than others and may be incorrect or coincidental/unintended:

1.) The Tesla Cybertruck is shaped like a triangle so it can win a race backward. Yes, that is mostly a joke, but it certainly is a conceivable feat. Imagine a fan-made video or commercial where the Cybertruck beats another vehicle backwards! Not sure if the powertrain design will allow for this, but the aerodynamics should.

2.) While Cybertruck’s design is a shocking departure from a conventional pickup, in general, symmetry is naturally viewed as more beautiful. There may be many benefits to having a more symmetrical design. I expect the symmetry of the Cybertruck to grow on people. Of course, the Cybertruck is not perfectly symmetrical, but it is more symmetrical than a conventional pickup truck.

3.) The triangular design improves the center of mass, creating a more balanced vehicle. It’s going to be very rare for this vehicle to flip.

4.) Safety. The triangular design allows the passengers to be centered closer to the midpoint of the car. Doing so further protects passengers from both forward and rear collisions.

5.) The more symmetrical design may increase the ease of manufacturing.

6.) My next speculation may be a bit absurd, but I think its rationale is based on first principles and economics.  I think it is likely the Cybertruck platform could be altered to build shuttles for use in The Boring Company tunnels. Or, at least, lessons learned from the Cybertruck could apply towards building the future shuttles. The two vehicles may share many parts. To date, all The Boring Company projects are loops comprised of two tunnels; one for each direction. However, a project does not have to have two tunnels; it can have only one.

Imagine a single tunnel where a platoon of Cybertrucks (or shuttles) just goes back and forth from point A to point B like the video game pong. In this configuration, there is no need to ever turn the shuttles around. This is how many metro trains operate. This type of tunnel project would be quite short, so that departure times still occur frequently. I could imagine such a tunnel connecting an airport to a train station, or a stadium to an event center. Pardon the poor Microsoft Paint diagram, which illustrates this single tunnel concept:

7.) The Cybertruck is shaped like a triangle to be different and really garner attention. The Cybertruck is no doubt polarizing. So far, most people love it or hate it! But that constant debate brings attention and certainly just seeing the Cybertruck makes it immediately recognizable.

Allow me to bring up an illustrative but imperfect analogy: Kim Kardashian. Kim is certainly a polarizing person, but so much of her business is based upon the constant polarizing attention she gets. Whether people love her or love judging and condemning her, they are clicking on articles about her. The constant clicks give her an audience to generate income from. This example is repeated over and over again in commerce and media. Howard Stern has made a fortune by being polarizing. He stood out among DJs because he was so shocking. The Cybertruck has shock value in spades.

8.) It is all about the cold rolled steel! The exterior steel alloy of the Cybertruck is extremely hard and durable. As such, it may be easier to manufacture if the design is comprised of flat surfaces and abrupt angles. The harder material could require much more effort (expense) if fabricated to create a more curved design.

So, it’s really the material that may be dictating the shape. Tesla’s other vehicles have had smoother, more aerodynamic curves, which are allowed via a much softer metal alloy. The triangular Cybertruck is aerodynamic enough. Tesla has created a balance between being aerodynamic enough but also using a material that may economically demand a more linear design with abrupt angles.

9.) Tesla is finally considering putting solar panels on a vehicle. This triangular design creates a flat, sloped surface to which solar cells can be attached. Initially, it appears the solar will just be on the back of the Cybertruck. Could solar be embedded in the glass? Maybe. Initially, the goal is to get 15 miles of range from solar per day. The aspirational goal is 30 miles.

For the most part, solar on a vehicle is considered a gimmick and uneconomical. The argument is: “Just put solar on your roof or carport to charge your vehicle; it will be cheaper.” However, having a vehicle generate its own power is very compelling to a number of individuals. I love the idea of a road trip where I go only as far as my solar panels can take me.

Every day, I could go 10–20 miles to a new camp spot and still have power. Or every three days I could for 30-60 miles to a new camp spot. Or, I could drive 200 miles into the remote wilderness, camp a week, and have enough power to drive back without needing a Supercharge. To some, it’s a gimmick. To others like me, it is a challenge. It will feel like traveling the Oregon trail. I can only go as far as my oxen (solar panels) will take me.

Over time, solar cell efficiency will improve and allow more daily range produced from solar.

10.) This comment comes courtesy of commentator JerryRCD. It has a triangular design because it can. The Cybertuck’s design is formed around a flat EV skateboard architecture which contains small but incredibly powerful electric motor(s). The shape of a conventional truck is designed around a massive internal combustion engine and the pickup bed. No need to stick with the old design that was created around an obsolete internal combustion engine. The conventional pickup truck design is not optimized for the EV skateboard architecture.

11.) It looks like a stealth bomber!

12, 13, …) Comment section. Let us know what you think. Also, feel free to abbreviate the reasons above and rearrange them in order of importance.

I actually think #8, if correct, might be the #1 reason. I am not certain about #8, though; it was an idea proposed in this great HyperChange video:


1) It's the most aerodynamic shape they can make with their material choice and manufacturing process. Better aero means less batteries means lower cost to reach a specific range.

Agelbert > David

As soon as I saw the Tesla EV ⚡ Pickup, I thought of the Delorean (see: Back to the Future movies), but aerodynamically cleaned up 💫👍.


Tesla EV ⚡ Pickup

All the "it's ugly" comments actually surprised me.

After pondering that for a while, I could only conclude that vehicle manufacturer advertising legerdemain over the last century has thoroughly distorted car buyer concepts of what constitutes a "pleasing appearance". 😟

All the "trim" stuff that auto makers have been hanging on their buggies since horses started to drag them around have been nothing but social climbing status symbols.

When Madison Avenue got into the ACT (See: there's a sucker born every minute), hood "ornaments" of horses, rockets, Native Americans (and so on), along with chrome strips here and there created envy based brands (for extra 😈 manufacturer profits), which actually just added weight and drag to the vehicles. 👎

Creating style envy based on hyping class privilege symbols is socially devisive AND destructive. 👎

Yes, Tesla has a BRAND. Yes, that brand lamentally does produce envy. BUT, it is based on non-polluting clean energy and efficiency, not hype. Spurring people to get a non-polluting clean energy powered vehicle (i.e. an ⚡ EV) is a socially beneficial motivation. 👍

Your vehicle is NOT YOU! Stop believing the hype! Your vehicle is what you need to get you from one place to the other, not your 'royal carriage' used to make your neighbors jealous.

The Tesla EV truck is all about getting the hauling stuff job (on road or off) done with LESS energy. THAT is all people of good will should care about.

Vehicles with mean looking grills in the front are a drag inducing feature of all internal combustion vehicles that have NO PLACE in EV design. Musk gets that. So should you.

To give you an idea how important it is to have a vehicle, whether it be a flying machine or a Telsa EV, as free from parasite drag (a specific category of aerodynamic drag that convoluted bumper grills, and anything else sticking out, cause) as possible, I'll give you a vivid example of how a small part can cause a huge loss of efficiency.

A long time ago I flew Piper Navajo Aircraft for an air taxi.

Navajo (Pa-31) pictured below:

Sometimes I had to keep the speed high on approach to please the tower controller. That would put me in a bit of a fix because I had to slow down quickly just before landing so I wouldn't use a lot of runway in the roll out. At about 160 mph (throttles all the way back and descending) I couldn't lower the gear or flaps (which massively increases drag) because of the high approach speed (I needed to to get below about 150 mph for gear and 130 mph for first flap setting). I would adjust the props "forward" (flat pitch increased the drag). That would slow me but not quick enough.

Since the descent kept my speed up until I was over the runway threshold, I would be left with the embarrassing position of floating over the runway until I could lower the gear and apply full flaps. All that would result in a really long landing roll.

Well, I would avoid all that by activating a tiny part under the cowling of the twin Lycoming 350 hp engines. This part is about 12 inches long and 5 inches wide. It is called a cowl flap. The purpose is to cool the engine during a high power setting slow approach. BUT, I discovered that opening the cowl flaps at around 160 mph (unlike the gear and flaps there is no limit to the speed you could be at to open them) would instantly drop you 10 mph! I could then lower the gear, which would drop me into the flap arc so I could apply full plaps and land quickly.

Picture of Navajo with right engine cowl flap open:

The cowl flaps only extended about 6 inches into the slipstream. This tiny robust part, in comparison to the overall aircraft size, caused so much parasite drag that the aircraft slowed quickly.

Musk knows what he is doing. By the way, the ability of the Tesla EV Pickup to seal the back is a HUGE drag reducing feature 👍, not just a way to keep the rain or a thief from getting to your load.

The Tesla EV Pickup is, even more than the other already well designed Tesla vehicles, common sense in vehicle design borrowed from aircraft manufacture and design, NOT Madison Avenue hype. That alone will make it an even greater success than its efficiency guarantees. It's time to let go of the Madison Avenue promoted class privilege hyping, envy producing, socially destructive, vehicle design symbols bling.

"Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord. Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right." -- Proverbs 20:10-11
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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