UNSW smashes electric vehicle record
UNSW smashes electric vehicle record for an electric vehicle traveling on a single-charge over 500km, averaging 100km/h.
WHILE PLENTY OF AUSTRALIANS are focusing on the Commonwealth Games this week and record-breaking attempts in the swimming pool, boffins from the University of New South Wales have broken a record of their own (the land speed record for an electric vehicle running on a single charge over 500km). And they smashed the previous record of 73km/h by averaging 100km/h.
However, no definitive numbers can be issued until the record is officially approved by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), world motorsport’s governing body.
“Five hundred kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day,” said project director and third-year engineering student Hayden Smith. “It’s another demonstration that one day you could be driving our car.” That the Sunswift eVe used only 50-cents-worth of electricity makes its achievement even more impressive.
One of the professional drivers involved in the world record attempt, Garth Walden, said: “As a racing driver you always want to be on the podium and it’s not everyday you get to break a world record. I really enjoyed hanging out with the team and being part of history.” “This record was about establishing a whole new level of single-charge travel for high-speed electric vehicles, which we hope will revolutionise the electric car industry,” said project director Hayden Smith.
The Sunswift eVe team comprises entirely of UNSW students and their aim is to get eVe approved as Australia’s first road-legal solar-electric car. See, the Sunswift cars aren’t just electric they’re also solar-powered, so, during the 500km run the team had to turn off its solar panels or else risk having its record run declared invalid.
The current car uses solar panels on the roof and hood to charge a 60kg battery. However, the panels were switched off during today’s world-record attempt, leaving the car to run solely on the battery charge.
The vehicle was put to the test on a 4.2 kilometre circular track at the Australian Automotive Research Centre, located about 50 kilometres outside Geelong, Victoria.
“By proving what is possible with renewable energy technology in transport, we pave the way for industry and the general public to realise how renewable energy can be used in a variety of other applications.
“Our car eVe shatters the assumption that solar cars cannot carry passengers and travel fast for long distances. Better yet, eVe does so in renowned style, boasting an aesthetic and sleek design. eVe serves as model for the clean and efficient vehicles we need,” the team said.