Australian electric racing car sets world record

Car built by UNSW students sets record of 106.966km/h over 500kms

Credit: Daniel Chen & Glenn Ong, UNSW Australia, Sunswift

Credit: Daniel Chen & Glenn Ong, UNSW Australia, Sunswift

The University of NSW’s eVe racing car has set a new world record, with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) recording it as the fastest electric vehicle over 500kms.

The car set a record of 106.966 kilometres an hour. The FIA, the world motorsport governing body, updated the record in July. The previous record over 500kms, set 26 years ago, was 73 kilometres an hour.

The solar and electric powered car contains 60kg of Lithium-Ion batteries under the front solar panel. It takes eight hours to charge off a household power point and five hours off an industrial power socket.

The car is the fifth generation car built by a team of students at the university’s solar racing team, Sunswift. More than 100 undergraduate students contributed to the car.

“For a student project to achieve a new world record for electric vehicle speed and endurance is truly remarkable,” UNSW engineering dean professor Graham Davies said in a statement.

“If there is one thing we've learned, it's that you're never too young to make an impact,” Sunswift’s project director and third-year engineering student Hayden Smith added.

The team is modifying the car to meet Australian road registration requirements, and it is expected to take to the streets within a year.

“We've always wanted to keep pushing the cultural change towards electric vehicles, and this is another big step in that direction,” Smith said.

The fourth generation car, IVy, made the Guinness World Records in January 2011 for the fastest solar car. The Jaycar Sunswift III version of the car made a world record in January 2007 for the fastest solar powered road trip from Perth to Sydney.

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