The typical gas-powered car has a drag coefficient between 0.30 and 0.40. The EV1 has a drag coefficient of just 0.19. That is significantly lower than any other production car. This is why the electric car's engineers say that the EV1 is an advanced study in aerodynamics.
Their goal was to design the most efficient production car — gas or electric — ever built. Since a car uses much of its energy to move through the wind, that meant creating the most ideal shape for air to slip around.
After several exterior designs, EV1 engineers decided to base the EV1's design on one of the most aerodynamic shapes in nature — a raindrop. They tapered the rear track to be nine inches narrower than the front. Then they covered the rear wheels with wheel skirts. Next came the belly pans. Without an exhaust system, rear brake cable or fuel system, the EV1 engineers were able to close off the underside of the car. The car was lowered as far as possible — to 120 mm, or five inches, from the road. Slippery composite body panels were created. And the radio antenna (which could have reduced range by 1/6 of a mile) was replaced with a foil antenna built into the underside of the roof.
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