Students in Australia break electric vehicle world speed record

15 Oct 2014

Image via Sunswift's Facebook page

Students from the University of New South Wales in Australia have broken the electric vehicle world speed record over 500 kilometres.

The institute’s solar racing team – which goes by the name Sunswift – achieved the speed of 106.966 km/h over the distance in its current vehicle, eVe, on a single battery charge. That shatters the previous record of 73 km/h, which had stood for 26 years.

More than 100 undergraduate students contributed to the not-for-profit project over the past two years.

“It’s not often you can confidently say you made history before you even graduated,” Sunswift’s project director and third-year engineering student Hayden Smith said in a statement.

“If there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that you’re never too young to make an impact,” Smith said.

The speeds were actually achieved last July but have just recently been ratified by motorsports governing body, The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Sunswift also holds a world record for the fastest solar-powered road trip from Perth to Sydney, and a Guinness World Record for the fastest solar car.

“For a student project to achieve a new world record for electric vehicle speed and endurance is truly remarkable,” said the university’s engineering dean, Prof Graham Davies.

“It goes to show what exceptional students we have here at UNSW.

The team members also took to photo-sharing app Instagram to voice their delight. 

“Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this happen,” they posted.



IT’S OFFICIAL!!! Sunswift eVe is the world’s fastest electric car that can cover a distance of 500km on a single battery charge! The record was overseen by @camsmotorsport and homologated by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this happen @karlreindler @garthwalden @unswengineering @unsw @fiaformulae You can read more about the record here: Our next endeavour: register Australia’s first road-legal solar car! #Sunswift #champions #worldrecord #landspeedrecord #success #fastest #electric #car #racing #motorsport #unsw #engineering #watchout #electricdrive #greentech #solarpower

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Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic