Car Tech

UNSW's Sunswift Solar Car Smashes A World Land Speed Record

Another one for the record books! The Sunswift eVe solar car, put together and maintained by the University of New South Wales’ dedicated engineering team, has just smashed a 26-year-old electric land speed record at a track in Victoria. Once the world’s top motorsports governing body signs off, that is..

Driving The Future: Hands On With UNSW’s Sunswift Solar Car

The record attempt still has to be ratified by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, but all things going to plan then FIA should officially recognise the Sunswift eVe as the fastest electric car to ever complete a 500km set distance course. The previous record was set in 1988, so it has stood for some time, but its 73km/h average speed placing has been decimated by the UNSW team’s over 100km/h average result over 500km.

The record attempt was run yesterday at the Australian Automotive Research Centre, about 50 kilometres of out Geelong in Victoria. Former V8 Supercar racing driver Garth Walden was one of the two professional drivers used in the attempt — they needed CAMS certification, apparently — on the Centre’s 4.2-kilometre-long circular track. Despite being a solar car, the Sunswift’s electricity-generating panels were covered for the attempt; the record attempt had to be done on a single charge.

This record attempt (and, hopefully, its winning that record) is one step on the Sunswift team’s journey to make a road-legal and road-registered vehicle that can stand as an example of an efficient and ecologically friendly vehicle that is ready for day-to-day use. Around 15 UNSW students and crew accompanied the car on its attempt.

The car will be on show tomorrow at Melbourne’s Federation Square. Go and have a look — it’s a fascinating piece of design and engineering. Congratulations, guys! Fingers crossed on the imminent FIA homologation of your record-breaking run. [UNSW]

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