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Aussie-made electric car smashes speed record

Going the distance: The University of NSW’s Sunswift electric car team has smashed a 26-year-old speed record with its fifth-generation eVe battery-powered vehicle.

UNSW students reset longstanding EV speed record with fifth-gen car


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29 Jul 2014

A TEAM of Sydney-based university students has smashed a 26-year-old world speed record for an electric car.

The Sunswift car, named eVe and developed at the University of NSW, posted an average speed of 100km/h over a 500km run on a single battery charge, placing daylight between it and the previous record of 73km/h.

The record attempt was made at the Anglesea-based Australian Automotive Research Centre last week, and is yet to be ratified by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, the world’s motorsport governing authority.

The carbon-fibre-shelled car is the fifth-generation vehicle built by UNSW students competing in electric car races such as the Australia-based World Solar Challenge.

The vehicle is fitted with solar panels to recharge its 60kg battery pack, however, these were disconnected for the record attempt.

According to the Sunswift team, the record run showed that the technology was ready for everyday use, and the group would now focus on developing the car to meet Australian road registration requirements.

“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,” project director and third-year engineering student Hayden Smith said.

"Five hundred kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day," he said.

"It's another demonstration that one day you could be driving our car.” Earlier versions of the Sunswift car have been used to set a world record for the fastest solar powered road trip from Perth to Sydney, and a Guinness World Record for the fastest solar car.

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