minispeed wrote:.22cd can be done on a production car and if they wanted to I think they could easily shed 3-400lbs out of a leaf.
If they could have easily reduced weight or improved cd, they'd have.
They are not going to do anything that will make Leaf look weird - they have already talked about making it look mainstream. You can't easily get better aero in a mainstream looking car with good interior space.
Neither can they shed 3-400 lb without using more expensive material.
BMW used much lighter CF - and yet hardly got any benefit in terms of reduced battery. Reducing weight is not an inexpensive way to reduce battery size - it is cheaper to put a higher capacity battery. BMW gets 3 miles less EPA miles for some 3 kWh less of battery - in a smaller sized car. Even if we ignore the lesser EPA range and smaller size, BMW only would have saved $600 by putting a battery smaller by 3 kWh. I bet they spent more on carbon-fiber.
Look at the difference the Benz CLA can achieve in CD between models, and I appologize it's .23 that has the record now not .22
http://www.daimler.com/dccom/0-5-160899 ... 0-0-0.html
. Then the stock model at .28 http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/ ... el-CLA250C
, and the AMG at .32 http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/ ... odel-specs
They did all that without changing the over all look of the car. The leaf could easily use active shutters and a lower ride height. Also ditching the odd headlights which create an air bubble over the mirrors for noise purposes would probably drop the cd too. The tail end of a hatch back is also horrible for aerodynamics, the infinity will be a sedan I understand which will give some points. If they want mainstream in the US, then they may ditch the hatch for the leaf.
"You can't easily get better aero in a mainstream looking car with good interior space." Tesla gets the same cda as a prius in a much larger car and I think if you asked anyone off the street they would say the prius is odd and the tesla is more mainstream. Longer is also better for aero and that gives interior space.
When you are talking about a new platform you can't say "If they could have easily reduced weight or improved cd, they'd have". It's a NEW PLATFORM, it's all about improving anything they want to.
As for weight from 12 to 13 they lost the aluminum panels and the weight still went down 60lbs and the cost went down too. Yes the light weight material is more expensive so removing the aluminum had something to do with the price drop but it shows that it is possible to get lighter for cheaper. Also light weight materials are cheaper than they were when they made the first leaf, steel itself has made huge gains in strength to weight ratio too. Investment in light weight material also have the benefit of sharing either the part, material supply, engineering costs, manufacturing experience with all of their ICE vehicles.
Yes BMW went the light weight route with the i3, but the car is also higher and wider than the leaf with a higher cd as well. You said it was smaller, but only in length and as mentioned earlier, it's easier to be more aerodynic with a longer car. Look at all the race cars that have special "lemans" tails just because of the high speed back straight. If it had been more aerodynamic as well it's range would be a leaf blower with the size of battery they chose. BMW also didn't go with carbon just because they wanted it for range, they are investing in carbon big time as a future material for all their cars.