Recharge Wrap-up: Telsa's aerodynamic modeling program, new toll plan for NYC

Utilities Get Into EV Charging

A video shows the digital aerodynamic modeling Tesla used when making the Model S. The video is from Exa, which uses predictive airflow software to create a "digital wind tunnel." Tesla's aerodynamics guru Rob Palin said the digital modeling helped them pinpoint areas with the most drag - the mirrors and wheels being the big anchors - and make the car more slippery overall. "One of the objectives with the Model S was to minimize the airflow around the front wheels and to line up the airflow so it hits the front wheels head on," says Palin. "This was an area where we made a huge improvement from the initial concept designs to the final design." See the car's 0.24 drag coefficient in action in the video above, and read more at Teslarati.

A new toll plan in New York City could help ease congestion and pay for infrastructure. A report from Move NY Fair finds that drivers in the outer boroughs end up paying most of the tolls, while Manhattan drivers do not. "The toll levels charged to motorists do not accurately reflect travel demand nor do they appropriately act as a disincentive to drive into the most congested part of the city," according to the report. Under the new plan, driver's entering central Manhattan would pay $8, while tolls would be lowered by 45 percent on bridges that don't lead into the central business district. The plan would encourage mass transit, and generate an expected $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Read more at Wired.

More and more, utilities are getting into the business of electric vehicle charging. More energy providers are looking to install and operate EV charging stations in order to promote electric driving and create new revenue selling electricity. EV charging can also help to manage the grid more efficiently. Some charging companies and energy consumers oppose utilities getting into the charging game, though. They worry about stifling competition and burdening customers with the costs of creating the infrastructure. The large utility companies, though, are better poised to take on such large projects. Read more at The New York Times.

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