Australian university students have a builit an electric vehicle, Sunswift eVe which has set a new world record for the fastest average speed, more than 60mph, over 500 km on a single battery charge. It beat the old record, a mere 45 mph, and drove farther than even the Tesla Model S, the current king of EVs.
The eVe is a very sporty looking car whose batter pack can be charged from a regular wall outlet, or using the solar panels on its hood and roof. It’s the fifth vehicle made by the students of the University of New South Wales. Sunswift is Australia’s top solar car racing team. More than 100 undergraduate students contributed to Sunswift’s successful world record attempt over the past two years. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has officially recognized the Sunswift as the fastest EV. The world record was set at the 2.6 mile “Highway Circuit” at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Victoria. This student run University project proves that the eVe is ready for practical use, capable of driving hundreds of miles at highway speeds, without recharging. The team also wants to show that solar-electric cars are an alternative to conventional fossil fuel powered vehicles.
The project director and third year engineering student Hayden Smith said “it’s not often you can confidently say you made history before you even graduated.” Even though the Sunswift is sporty looking, don’t expect the comforts or features found in today’s luxury rides. The eVe weighs just 700 pounds. It takes eight hours to charge the 130 pound Panasonic battery using a typical household outlet. The Sunswift team says if the car is parked in the sun for around eight hours, the 800 watt solar array will provide enough electricity for two hours of driving.
With the world record now official, the team is set to embark on its major challenge, modifying the eVe to meet Australian road registration requirements.