When we talk about the Titans in the Automobile industry the names that pop up are General Motors, BMW and Tesla. However, when you ignore the rest you potentially close your eyes to the challenge that they can propose, as has been done by a team of students from an Australian university who have come up with a car by the name of Sunswift eVe that is capable of competing with Tesla.
Sunswift eVe has set the new world record for the fastest average speed on single battery charge and if you think it would have compromised on distance, better think again – eVe ran with an average speed of more than 60Mph for over 310 miles on 23rd July. We all know that the critical factor holding back the paradigm shift to electric cars is the range that they can cover over a single charge. eVe has shown that this obstacle can be overcome and that electric vehicles can drive for hundreds of miles at reasonable speeds. The old record was set for 45Mph and that was superseded with quite a margin by eVe and not to forget that it drove much farther when compared with Tesla Model S.
The Sunswift eVe can be charged via conventional wall outlet and takes about eight to charge completely, however, it will take 5 hours if you’re charging it at an industry wall outlet. We wonder how soon it can be charged via the super charging stations. The car comes with an array of solar panels that have been fixed on the hood and roof; however, they were not used during the test run since the team wanted to compare performance only on electric terrain and not the solar one. The car is the fifth generation car coming from the University of New South Wales with the first dating back to 1996 and is a member of the family that houses Ivy – the fastest solar powered vehicle.
The eVe is practical when you look closely at it; it weighs 700 pounds and can seat two adults. However, if you are looking for leisure features we’re afraid you won’t find many since the team kept them to a bare minimum in order to keep the weight less. Here’s a fun fact; the car weighs less than the battery being used to power the Model S.
If the car is allowed to stay in sun for 8 hours the 800-watt solar panel assembly can charge it enough to provide two hours of driving, however, the panels can’t really replace the energy being consumed when the car is running. The test drive took place on the ‘Highway Circuit’, which is a 2.6-mile circuit at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Victoria.
Hayden Smith, the Project Director for Sunswift, said that eVe is a ‘demonstrator of feasibility’. The team expressed that they want to show that the solar-electric cars are a ‘viable alternative to conventional fossil fuel-powered vehicles.’
The FIA – governing body of World Motorsport – still has to approve this speed record after which it will be made official. But the team sure has stepped up their game. We wonder what Elon Musk has to say about this effort by the team.