For more video interviews on car design:
- Part 1 - Ferrari 458 to Lightyear One: https://youtu.be/o4Yv5hynV1Q
- Part 2 - Lightyear One Solar Car: https://youtu.be/TKHjyC_L0OM
- Part 3 - Autonomous Vehicle Design: https://youtu.be/xw-B_yTU4mY
- Part 4 - The Dallara Stradale: https://youtu.be/c7NyvCluYVc
Henrik Fisker has designed the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9, Fisker Karma and many more iconic cars. He's now set the target even higher:
to create the World's Most Sustainable Vehicle
History in the Car Design Business
I love designing cars, I would do it even if I didn't get paid for it - I would still be sketching cars in my spare time. It feels like my calling.
Over the past 10 years, I've been inspired by people trying to create a better environment and I wanted to do something myself, on a bigger level. So I decided to create sustainable vehicles that are still beautiful, still desirable.
Sustainable vehicles will be there one day, but it will not happen over night - this industry is like an oil tanker that needs 7-10 years to take a dramatic turn. Part of the reason for this is that the lifetime of a new automotive platform, with all the development, crashtesting, investment, ... is about 7 years. Scrapping that after 2 years doesn't make financial sense.
So we'll see dramatic changes over the next 7 years, but even then, we'll need more time to ultimately manufacture truly sustainable cars.
But we cannot sit around and wait, just because they're not perfect yet, and go drive diesel cars again. That's what we are trying to do at Fisker Inc.
One key advantage of having an electric car is the flat floor [note: which helps to smoothen the flow underneath the car]. The roof shape was also tuned to help aerodynamics. And the lower front & rear end were also optimized to make sure the air goes around & leaves the vehicle without too much turbulence. Over the years, as a designer, I've learned what things you need to do to optimize this.
But honestly, the goal was not just to design the most aerodynamic car, because then it just ends up looking like most other very aerodynamic cars, which ultimately is a hatchback-style teardrop shape.
The range argument is really only happening right now because we still feel there is a long distance between charging stations and we'll not sure if we'll get there [range anxiety] and have time to fill up the car with electricity.
In my view, over the next 3-4 years, we will see a dramatic increase in charging infrastructure in the US, Europe and China. We'll also get much better at assessing how long we need to stay at a charging station and in the future, we will not necessarily have to wait there for hours. Once people get used to all this, the total range will become irrelevant.
If all-electric car manufacturers/manufacturers that make electric cars today were using the same battery cell, set of modular electric motors, you would already have scale.
The only way to get scale is to partner up and create some sort of consortium. That is what we are working on and that is how we'll get our price down.
this interview has also been featured on Clean Fleet Report:
The AirShaper videos cover the basics of aerodynamics (aerodynamic drag, drag & lift coefficients, boundary layer theory, flow separation, reynolds number...), simulation aspects (computational fluid dynamics, CFD meshing, ...) and aerodynamic testing (wind tunnel testing, flow visualization, ...).
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