Sunswift Solar Car Smashes 26-Year-Old EV World Record

OCT 23 2014 BY MARK KANE 5

Sunswift eVe

Sunswift eVe

It’s now official.  Australia’s top solar car racing team UNSW Sunswift eVe set in July a solar land speed record over a distance of 500 kilometres.

The record of 106.966 km/h (almost 66.5 mph) was confirmed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

This result is well above the previous 73 km/h set 26 years ago.

Sunswift’s project director and third-year engineering student Hayden Smith commented:

“It’s not often you can confidently say you made history before you even graduated.”

“If there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that you’re never too young to make an impact.”

More than 100 undergraduate students contributed to Sunswift’s project ove3r two years. The eVe electric car is the fifth build since 1996 by the UNSW team.

Sunswift eVe

Sunswift eVe

UNSW Engineering Dean Professor Graham Davies congratulated the students for what he called “another exceptional feat”:

“For a student project to achieve a new world record for electric vehicle speed and endurance is truly remarkable.”

“It goes to show what exceptional students we have here at UNSW.”

The next project will be to modifying the eVe to meet Australian road registration requirements.

According to the specifications, eVe is able to achieve even greater results:

Seating capacity: 2

Range: 800 km

Top Speed: 140 km/h

Solar array output: 800 W

hat tip to Malcolm S!!!

Categories: General


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5 Comments on "Sunswift Solar Car Smashes 26-Year-Old EV World Record"

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I’ll bet the solar car 26 years ago only had one seat in it and it was very far from being street capable. I really like the new class of “real” solar cars.

This is really amazing stuff.


My wife and I watched the cars arrive and leave from C’ville, on the N.A. Solar Challenge back in 1999. They ran from DC to Orlando. They could have built two seaters just as readily then as now.

Only two things have changed since then.

1) The technology has gotten much cheaper as this stuff has filtered down from NASA and DoD to consumers.

2)Lithium batteries are so much lighter per kWh than the nickel metal hydride batteries back then, that Sunswift was able to do the whole run on battery power. Speed on PV power alone is no better than what they ran then. But I can buy what they are running now at an affordable price.


The solar panel portion of the design is almost irrevalent…

But the efficiency of the car is sure impressive.

Malcolm Scott

this is good background video as well


Hey, look at their crowfunding to make the car road legal:

Seems to be largely simbolic, since no one talks about plans for actually make or shell other cars: just adapt that one. I wonder how much the extra weight will affect range.

Mmmmhh… by the way, at this rate, it seems they’re not gonna make it, sadly.