Students Build Long-Range Electric Car That Breaks Speed Record
Students from the University of New South Wales, Australia have developed an electric car powered with solar panels that has a better range than the Tesla Model S — considered currently the best among electric vehicles.
The car is named Sunswift eVe and the students proved that it is ready for practical use through a demonstration. They made a drive of over 120 laps on a 2.6-mile circuit at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Victoria. The purpose of demonstration was to prove that eVe is the fastest electric car.
And they proved it!
They set a new world record for the fastest average speed — more than 60 mph — on a single battery charge. It not only broke the previous world record of 45 mph but also drove even more than Tesla Model S.
eVe uses Panasonic Battery that weighs 130 pounds. The battery can be charged using typical household outlet taking eight hours for full charge. It can be charged in five hours if you plug it into industrial port.
“Sunswift says that 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, plenty to cover the standard commute,” wrote Jordan Golson at Wired.
Sunswift eVe can seat two adults and looks like a proper car, but you cannot expect comforts and luxuries like proper cars out there. The weight is limited to 700 pounds and you can’t go more than that. It is even less than the weight of the battery of Tesla Model S. Every product has its own limitations, and this is eVe’s.
Students at the University of New South Wales had previously developed fastest solar-powered vehicle (IVy) that drove at an average 55 mph. eVe is the fifth vehicle made by the students from the same university. The Sunswift team is also focused on training new engineers about the electric vehicles and they want to encourage new generations to work on similar projects.
The students hope to make eVe the first road-legal solar-powered car in Australia. They will have to pass certain tests from authorities, and it is unlikely they will be able to do so considering the limitations faced by the car. But they have achieved a new level of breakthrough for electric vehicles, and hopefully they will be able to achieve their goal of making eVe the first road-legal solar-powered car in Australia.