Sunswift eVe Sets Solar Land Speed Record


Sunswift eVe

Sunswift eVe

We recently posted on the Sunswift Team’s preparation to break the solar land speed record. (More information regarding that here)

Team preparing for land speed record.

Team preparing for land speed record.

On July 23rd 2014, working around the clock to perfect the solar vehicle, Sunswift shattered the previous 26-year standing land speed record.

Although because this was recent, The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) still has to confirm it for the record to be in the books.

The 1988 land speed record was set at 73 km/h over the 500km set distance. Sunsiwft’s recent attempt was at 100 km/w over the same 500km distance.

The attempt was done off a single charge, without any power supply whatsoever from the solar panels as shown on the vehicle.

Everyone is positive that the FIA will confirm the record and it will be in the books. Once that is done, Sunfwift gets a step closer towards creating a road legal & registered vehicle.  The hope is that someday Sunswift will be able to convince the world that solar EVs are feasible as everyday drivers.

Sunswift eve.

Sunswift eve.

Source: Gizmodo.

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9 Comments on "Sunswift eVe Sets Solar Land Speed Record"

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Do i get it right? One charge by solar, then no further use of its solar panels? So this car achieved the same as a model s? Driving 500 km at 62 mph. Why build a car and dont charge during driving? How big is their battery, car weight, etc. ? Greeting

@Mr.M, Agree can not understand that when you look at the cars design. From the Sunswift web page: Seating capacity: 2 Range: 800 km Top Speed: 140 km/h Solar array output: 800 W Sunswift eVe is the fifth generation solar car designed and built by the University of New South Wales Solar Racing Team, Sunswift. Built for practicality, speed, and endurance, eVe is the embodiment of Australian innovation and design. Originally created for the 2013 World Solar Challenge – Cruiser Class, eVe sets a new standard for sustainable transportation, offering high performance, efficiency, comfort and style – all powered directly from the sun PERFORMANCE AND PRACTICALITY When it comes to performance and practicality, no other solar car compares to eVe. With twoseats and four wheels, you’d be forgiven for mistaking eVe for a conventional petrol-driven car. The battery pack and solar panels mean that ‘range anxiety’ is now a thing of the past, offering distances of 800km from a single charge. Even when the sun is not shining eVe can rely on its battery pack. Boasting a top speed of 140km/h, eVe is the world’s fastest long-range solar-electric car – owing to its sleek aerodynamics, low centre of gravity, and… Read more »

They claim to be among the best teams for solar cars. They get 800 W output of Solar. If we drive for 5 hours, then our solar system got us 0.8*5 = 4 kWh. If we are generous and assume our car uses only 13 kwH/100 km (~ eGolf NECD) we got around 30 km of extra range by driving all day.

There you see that solar cars are not practical. At least not for real driving. It is a nice gimmic to have solar on the roof, but its not (yet?) practical. If you are stuck in the wild you can wait a day and get maybe 60 km Range back, thats good to escape 🙂 But look how big the solar “roof” of their car is. No real car has that much space on their roof.

Maybe if we can push efficiency of solar cells to 30 or even 40 %. This might become more possible. Then you will get something like 40km/day if you stuck your roof with solar. The advantage is your solar is where you want the energy. So loading the battery during the working day is possible.

This car can do a lot better than 13kwh/100km, but of course its not even close to a car anyone would buy and feel safe and sound in it.

But 30-60 km a day would mean, I had to plug-in just for my longer trips once or twice a month. I would love this 🙂

But on the other end, the roof of your car is a lost energy capture surface if you don’t put solar cells on it, so even for a small part of your daily driving, it is still interesting.

A few years back i though of a mobile home that would allow you to drive a few km each day thanks to the accumulated energy during the day. The solar panels were mounted on a vertical extention system that would deploy when at rest for extra surface. A wind detector would secure the system and transit to a wind generator. By such a system you would have a full electric mobilhome and produce your own energy as well. You could go in the outback for as long as you wanted.

I feel that some have misunderstood the parameters of the record beating challenge. The referenced article in insideevs is misleading (I think). It is maximum speed over 500 km using only a single charged battery. Solar is irrelevant for this challenge.

Whilst the car is a solar powered and grid powered vehicle, only a charged battery is permitted for the record attempt. In this case a 60 kg battery! The solar panels were turned off.

In terms of practical transport, this vehicle came a close second to the 4 seater Eindhoven University of Technology entrant in the 2013 3000 km World Solar Challenge from Darwin to Adelaide in the Cruiser Class. It did carry such a passenger load for much of that journey (average speed 74.52 kph). Practicality is one of the scoring factors and thus we should see improvements for the 2015 event.

I’m impressed by these achievements in increasingly practicable vehicles using such small amounts of energy, and able to carry a pay load. This to me is the holy grail

Tesla Model S is a fantastic achievement for its target market, but will one break this record at 107 kph?

OK, Tesla gets only 430km with constant speed of 100 km/h. (This is calculated with the zero mile protection aka 81 kWh).

But they anounced a battery improvement and with a bigger battery (105 kWh, ~100 kWh usable) a Range of 500 km with 110 kph seems possible.

This record only highlights what efficient car design can achieve. It certainly doesn’t suggest the practicality of solar panels on cars.

It does show that bigger, more capable batteries are a problem, not a solution.

Talking about 85 kWh packs is like bragging about cubic inches. We already can store vast amounts of energy in gasoline.

The current EV effort has completely lost sight of the goal…reduced energy and resource consumption.

Until we get our heads around the fact that billions of people cannot live like pharaohs, this is all just entertainment.