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Volkswagen is doing something unprecedented with its newest electric car: 'A greater focus on aerodynamics'

Hopefully, this will encourage more drivers to make the switch to EVs.

Volkswagen ID.7 aerodynamics

Photo Credit: iStock

Volkswagen is starting production of an all-new aerodynamic battery-electric sedan called the ID.7, which has been designed to improve fuel efficiency at high speeds.

While electric vehicles (EVs) are much better for the environment than their gas-powered counterparts, their traditionally low freeway range can deter buyers from driving them. 

While gasoline vehicles usually see the best MPGs on freeways and highways and the worst in the city, the opposite is true for EVs, meaning drivers of these vehicles have to pull over more often to recharge when driving at high speeds. 

Something called drag coefficient is to blame, which simply refers to air pushing on a vehicle at high speeds and slowing it down. Drag affects all cars but has an especially high impact on EV range because most EVs lack multiple gears, per Car and Driver. By designing an aerodynamic EV, VW will reduce drag and improve the EV's freeway range.

Volkswagen introduced the ID family of electric cars back in 2016 at a Paris Motor Show and made the first member — the ID.3 — available to consumers in 2020. Since then, it has added several other vehicles to the lineup, and the ID.7 will be the newest addition. 

The special focus on aerodynamics, however, has been unique to the ID.7. In order to reduce air drag on the EV at high speeds, VW incorporated strategic design characteristics. 

VW designer Daniel Scharfschwerdt explained these changes in a recent press release.

"When designing the ID.7, there was a greater focus on aerodynamics than for practically any other model. This can be seen in the low front end, the flowing transition into the bonnet, and the fast windscreen," he said. "The coupé-like roof form and the tapering rear end are also designed for ideal aerodynamic performance."

VW conducted many tests, including wind tunnel tests and computer simulations, to get the dimensions of the vehicle — and the reduced drag — just right.

By improving the aerodynamics of the ID.7, VW is improving the vehicle's freeway range, meaning people can drive farther without having to pull over to recharge. 

Hopefully, this will encourage more drivers to make the switch to EVs, as the environmental group Sierra Club estimated that we need 10 million EVs on the roads by 2025 "to have a shot at avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

"Drivers can expect to see the ID.7 for sale in North American markets in 2024.

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