The sleek, electrically powered eVe managed to average speeds of 62 mph for 310 miles on a singe battery charge, surpassing the previous record that stood for 20 years by an impressive 17 mph.
The feat was completed over 120 laps of the 2.6-mile “Highway Circuit” at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Victoria. The record is still awaiting approval from the FIA before made official.
The eVe was designed not just to break world records but also show what is possible for electric cars and help dispel concerns over range anxiety.
One of the notable features of the record-setting EV is that solar panels are fitted to its body. These have the potential to charge the car whilst on the move and offer enough charge to power two hours of solid driving.
The eVe is a “demonstrator of feasibility,” says Hayden Smith, project director for Sunswift. The team wants to show that solar-electric cars are a “viable alternative to conventional fossil fuel-powered vehicles.”
The Sunswift eVe can also be charged via a household wall-socket but needs around 8 hours to achieve a full charge. The Australian students claim, however, that higher power charging points, such as Fast or rapid charging units, could be used to significantly cut charging times.
The eVe is the University of New South Wales’s 5th student-made vehicle since 1996. The previous project set a world-record for the fastest purely solar powered vehicle at 55mph in 2011, something the creators of the eVe are hoping to surpass with this new electric vehicle at a later date.
The 310 mile range achieved by the eVe on a single charge exceeded the official 300 mile range of the Tesla Model S, considered to have the largest range of any battery electric vehicle on the market. The Model S is of course considerably heavier than the 700 pound two-seater Sunswift eVe.
The students are hoping to make the Sunswift eVe the first road-legal solar powered vehicle within the year and are encouraging manufacturers focus more research and development on EV technology.
See the record attempt in full below: