Student-made solar-powered car sets a new world record by traveling 620 miles

The vehicle also broke the solar-powered vehicle speed record at 62 mph.
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The Sunswift eVe
The Sunswift eVe

The Sunswift 7, a solar-powered car developed by students at the University of New South Wales in Australia, has set a new world record by traveling 620 miles (1,000 km) on a single charge, according to a press release.

This achievement, which took place on a test track in South Australia, represents the longest distance ever traveled by an electric vehicle (EV) on a single charge and surpassed Lucid Air Dream Edition, which has an impressive range of 520 miles (837 km)

The Sunswift 7, the seventh generation of the Sunswift solar car, is powered entirely by solar energy, with no need for fossil fuels. It is equipped with over 6 square meters of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity to power the car's electric motor. The car also has a small battery pack, which stores excess energy for use when the sun is not shining.

The team behind the Sunswift 7 spent four years developing and refining the vehicle to create a practical and efficient EV that could serve as a viable alternative to fossil fuel-powered vehicles. In addition to setting the record for the longest distance traveled on a single charge, the Sunswift eVe also holds the record for the fastest solar-powered car, reaching a top speed of over 62 mph (100 kph).

Student-made solar-powered car sets a new world record by traveling 620 miles
The Sunswift 7 after compelting its record run

The achievement of the Sunswift 7 team is particularly significant given the increasing global focus on reducing reliance on fossil fuels and finding more sustainable alternatives for transportation. Electric vehicles emitting no tailpipe emissions are a crucial part of the solution to this problem. However, one of the significant challenges facing the widespread adoption of EVs is their limited range, which has traditionally been a barrier to their use for long-distance travel.

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The Sunswift 7's record-breaking feat demonstrates the potential for EVs to be a viable option for long-distance travel and could help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles worldwide. In addition to its practical applications, the Sunswift 7 also serves as a testament to the innovative spirit and determination of the University of New South Wales students, who have worked tirelessly to develop and improve this cutting-edge technology.

The world record, according to team principal Professor of Practice Richard Hopkins, "shows what is conceivable and what can be achieved," even though Sunswift 7 is far heavier than road-legal vehicles, which are required to include a number of equipment like airbags and air conditioning systems.

“During this record, the energy consumption was just 3.8 kWh/100km, whereas even the most efficient EVs on the road today only achieve a rating of 15kWh/100km and the average is around 20kWh/100km,” Prof. Hopkins added.

“Sunswift 7 isn’t a production car of the future, since we’ve compromised on comfort and the cost is prohibitive. But we have shown that if you want to make cars more efficient, more sustainable, more environmentally friendly, then it is possible."

The success of the Sunswift 7 is also a testament to the potential of renewable energy sources, such as solar power, to play a major role in the global transition away from fossil fuels. As more and more people become aware of renewable energy's environmental and economic benefits, we will likely see an increased focus on developing and deploying technologies that can harness these sources of power.

In conclusion, the Sunswift 7's record-breaking distance traveled on a single charge is a major milestone in developing electric vehicles and renewable energy. It demonstrates the potential of EVs to be a viable option for long-distance travel. 

As the global focus on reducing reliance on fossil fuels continues to grow, we will likely see more breakthroughs like this in the future as researchers and engineers work to develop and deploy cleaner, more sustainable technologies.

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