Sunswift is a a solar car racing team from the University of New South Wales, and they have just broken the electric car world record for speed.The previous record has been standing since 1988. The official record measures the average speed of an electric vehicle over a 500km distance on a single charge. The Sunswift eVe is the team's fifth car. It has a top speed of 140kph (almost 87mph) and an electric-only range of about 500km, or 800km when the solar cells are active.
"As a racing driver you always want to be on the podium and it's not everyday you get to break a world record," said Garth Walden, one of the drivers. "I really enjoyed hanging out with the team and being part of history."
Sunswift wanted to show the world that it is possible to have a solar electric vehicle that can withstand the speeds of highways over an extended range. Their technology could help make electric cars more enticing to consumers, ultimately helping to reduce air pollution.
"Five hundred kilometers is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day," said Hayden Smith, project director and engineering student. "This is really about curing people's fear of the lack of speed and curing their range anxiety, showing this car can travel at high speeds for long distances which is really what everyone wants."
The team is currently working on modifying the car to make it street legal, and hopes to make it available to the public in 2015.