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Transportation Australia

Long-range Electric Car World Speed Record Broken By Australian Students 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-stores-baby-cars-in-a-warm-pouch-on-its-undercarriage dept.
New submitter is_this_gdog writes: The Sunswift solar car team from UNSW Australia has broken an international world speed record for the fastest long-range electric vehicle, averaging a speed of 107km/h (66mph) over 500km (310miles) from a single charge with their car, eVe. Solar panels were not used for this record (with solar, the car has a range of over 500 miles), the challenge was endurance speed with battery only. There are faster electric cars, and one or two with longer range if you go slow enough — Sunswift eVe is the first to officially do 500kms at highway speeds (pending official FIA approval). Pictures of the car are available here.
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Long-range Electric Car World Speed Record Broken By Australian Students

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  • The body is obviously specially designed to be extremely aerodynamic -- the undercarriage of a typical car is largely missing -- which means it would not be comfortable / practical for normal usage. Also, the tires were extremely narrow to reduce friction. Wake me up when we have a breakthrough on battery technology that actually allows for practical long distance EVs at a reasonable price and/or can recharge in less than half an hour.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CaptainLard (1902452)
      Right, because gas powered cars built specifically to break speed/efficiency records are so much more practical...oh wait, they're also worthless for everything but breaking records and look just like this one. Good thing some of that engineering knowledge transfers over to consumer vehicles.

      And in case you missed it, several Tesla's have already made cross country road trips. It might take 30 min to charge but 3 years ago it took 12 hours. Why would you want to go to sleep now and miss all the exciting r
      • "Right, because gas powered cars built specifically to break speed/efficiency records are so much more practical...oh wait, they're also worthless for everything but breaking records and look just like this one ... Why would you want to go to sleep now and miss all the exciting rapid development?"

        My point was that we are still at least one major breakthrough in battery technology away from having EVs actually being meaningful competitors to ICEs.

        "And in case you missed it, several Tesla's have already
        • I just went and looked at Tesla superchargers and they claim that their next iteration of superchargers (i.e. - akin to gas stations) will be able to give 50% charge in 20 minutes and 80% charge in 40 minutes. That's pretty exciting assuming it doesn't degrade the lifetime of the batteries.

          Now if they can just get the cost of the batteries down to a reasonable level, then this will be a true competitor to ICEs in the near future.
          • No, that's not the future performance of their next iteration of superchargers, it's the actual performance of their current superchargers [teslamotors.com]. They've got more than 150 of them now.

            • Scroll down on your link:

              "Tesla Superchargers represent the most advanced charging technology in the world, capable of charging Model S 16x faster than most public charging stations. We will soon roll out 120 kW Superchargers, which are 33% faster than our current version and can replenish half a charge in as little as 20 minutes, for free."
              • That's weird, they keep stating that figure just about everywhere (including at the top of the page, and in the FAQ lower on the page, so I'm not sure whether they are using false advertising or they simply forgot to update that line about "we will soon". It's the figure I was given on my test drive as well. I'll try to find out for sure.

              • I just checked on the Tesla forum: they just didn't update that part of the website, but most current superchargers are 120 kW right now except for a handful of early ones.

      • Even better, Tesla has announced a new battery to retrofit into their old roadster model, which will bring its range up to 640 km (400 miles) EPA rated range. Maybe that's at a lower speed, I'm not sure how EPA rated range is calculated, but certainly close enough to make this new record by a university team rather unimpressive. My first reaction to the summary was "isn't their a zero missing somewhere?".

        • by Cederic (9623)

          And yet they have a record, which implies that the Tesla can't sustain a mere 66mph for just 310 miles.

          I'm finding myself continually underwhelmed by these electric cars.

          • Well, they just announced the new battery, they're not actually selling it just yet, but anyway, even if they're just below the record, with an ordinary production car that anyone with enough money can buy, I would expect a university team with a specially built car driving at constant speed to do way, way better.

      • The credits were the best part of the last movie I watched.
    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday July 25, 2014 @11:28AM (#47531629) Homepage Journal

      practical long distance EVs at a reasonable price and/or can recharge in less than half an hour

      The price may or may not be reasonable, depending on your budget, though it definitely is for a non-trivial number of people, but the Tesla Model S fulfills the other requirements today.

      My Nissan LEAF doesn't, though it's still a very practical car that easily manages all but a small fraction of my driving.

    • You mean, like a Tesla? Range of about 250 miles, supercharger stations that will give you 80% of your range in 30 minutes.... If you're looking for a luxury sedan, the Tesla beats every other car out there, except if your make-or-break deal is that you be able to refill now every 2 miles or so.

      As for reasonable price.... well, no one but you knows what that reasonable price is. So I guess you'll sleep forever.

      • "As for reasonable price.... well, no one but you knows what that reasonable price is."

        So, you think that more than $60K (and that's lowballing a Model S's cost) is a reasonable price for a car for most people? If Tesla can build a cheaper, say around $30K, but still decent car with the same range and recharge capabilities, then they'll be in the mainstream market and not just the luxury market.

        My whole point was that I think we are at least one major breakthrough in battery technology away from that
  • Getting there. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Friday July 25, 2014 @10:28AM (#47531061)

    However with my current car I get about 450 miles per tank. at 66mph.

    Now the issue is some times I need to drive for 8-10 hours. So I will need to fuel up mid way. The charge time for electric may still be an issue.

    • Absolutely. Until we have batteries that can recharge in less than a half hour (without shortening the battery's life) or go straight for 8-10 hours, long range driving with EVs will be a real hassle.
    • by KingBozo (137671)

      However my current 1 ton truck at 66mph will go over 700 miles on a tank easy, at 70+ mph it made the trip home from the dealer at 654 miles and still had some fuel left.

      I suggest you get a better vehicle.

      • by tsa (15680)

        Your truck weighs one ton? My god that's light. My cabrio weighs 1430 kg with me in it.

    • However with my current car I get about 450 miles per tank. at 66mph.

      Now the issue is some times I need to drive for 8-10 hours. So I will need to fuel up mid way. The charge time for electric may still be an issue.

      Remember this was kilometers, so you get 724km per tank. That's almost 50% more than the electric, one seater, made of tissue paper (euphemism, but not far off compared to a real road car) and riding on tires barely bigger than that for a children's bicycle.

      As a comparison, the Tesla Model S weighs more than two tons (US or Metric) and gets 306 miles per charge (492 km). I am not impressed by this "record".

    • Honestly, with most everyone having cell phones, kindles, books, magazine, the power of conversation.. is waiting 40 minutes to recharge that big of a deal?

      The charging situation seems to take two forms.
      1. commuting: recharge at home, over night, no waiting at all.
      2. road-trip/extended drive (300-500 miles or more): pull into charging station, grab a coffee, a snack.. read/chat/whatever, then go on your way. you get a break from driving (a very, very good thing)

      For Christ's sake, set up a coffee shop with

  • by queazocotal (915608) on Friday July 25, 2014 @10:38AM (#47531159)

    While perhaps to be taken with a pinch of salt - http://www.teslamotors.com/en_... [teslamotors.com] - with the larger battery - at 65MPH claims to get 261 miles.
    To get a Tesla to 350 miles needs an extra 30kWh of battery - about 120kg at the same performance as the existing battery.
    This will easily fit in the trunk.

    • While perhaps to be taken with a pinch of salt - http://www.teslamotors.com/en_... [teslamotors.com] - with the larger battery - at 65MPH claims to get 261 miles. To get a Tesla to 350 miles needs an extra 30kWh of battery - about 120kg at the same performance as the existing battery. This will easily fit in the trunk.

      Better yet, pull the seats and anything else you don't need out of the car and try. The big battery gets 306 miles (492km) out of a 4600+ lb vehicle so getting an extra 8km isn't going to be that hard, even if it was 80km I think it could be done without modifying the production car much at all. This "record" is laughable. The only reason Tesla doesn't have it is that they don't care about non-practical applications of electric vehicles, it would seem. Elon has a rocket company for going farther, faster.

  • by KingBozo (137671)

    Wow only 45 miles longer than a Tesla Model S that has been in production for a while now, that is truly a massive breakthrough

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      The big deal ain't the range, it's the range considering the battery. The highest range Model S has an 85 kWh battery, rated for 265 miles (426km). This eVe has a 16 kWh battery, yet manages 310 miles (500km). That's a massive difference, especially when you consider that battery charge time is one of the big downsides of electric cars right now. Obviously, the smaller the battery, the faster the charge. Alternatively, you can keep the same size battery but quadruple the range. Oh, and this doesn't even fac
      • So, really, with a half-pack of bonus batteries in the trunk of a Model S Elon Musk could easily set a new world record?

        I love the quote, "Five hundred kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day." Oh, man, I've driven further to see a live show, and driven back essentially the next day (It's ~750km to NYC from my house). I wouldn't want to drive that every day, but It's not unusual to top 500km for a long weekend/vacation trip which we do multiple times a year.

        • by ncc74656 (45571) *

          I love the quote, "Five hundred kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day." Oh, man, I've driven further to see a live show, and driven back essentially the next day

          Indeed. Aren't things in Australia nearly as spread out as they are here? 300 miles is nothing. 300 miles won't even get you from Las Vegas to San Diego. I've done that as a same-day round trip. I've driven from Las Vegas to Denver in one day. 770 miles makes for a long day behind the wheel, bu

      • OK, that little tidbit of information makes all the difference. 16kWh battery, now I'm impressed. I knew there was something missing, the record was way too underwhelming and close to actual production cars on our roads right now.

  • I drive faster than 66 mph every day going to work and don't notice anyone but motorcyclists wearing helmets and nobody wearing fire suits... Lol.

    • by NekSnappa (803141)
      A) Because it it's and experimental vehicle that's made as light as possible and if shit goes wrong you can get hurt. B) It's an FIA sanctioned event and proper safety gear is required.
  • Almost everyone focuses on the limited range and the longer recharge times as the main reason why electric cars have not taken off.

    I think that is not really the case. The initial extra cost of the battery is so high, even after subsidies the break even period for an electric car compared to gas car is very long. If this issue is addressed, some people will be interested in buying these cars, with 80 to 100 mile range.

    Once people start buying electric cars purely on economic grounds, a whole array of sec

    • I wholeheartedly agree. We are still at least one major breakthrough in battery technology away from EVs being mainstream competitors with ICEs. They need to either get the energy density way up and/or the cost way down somehow.

      Tesla charges $10K to upgrade from the 60 Kwh to 85 Kwh battery. That means the 60 Kwh battery pack likely costs somewhere in the $20-25K range all by itself. The 85 Kwh battery pack is likely somewhere in the $30-35K range all by itself.

      Tesla claims their next gen supercha
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Surely you have heard of the Tesla Gigafactory? It is a $5BN investment that does nothing but address your exact concern. It doesn't address range. It doesn't address recharge time. It addresses COST.
      • Yes, but Musk only claims that this can shave 30% off the costs of the batteries and 3rd party analysts are skeptical of Tesla's claimed and projected costs ...
      • I know about Musk and the giga factory. The giga factory for batteries are not exclusively focused on automobile batteries. They are going after residential solar energy storage. Those batteries do not have weigth, volume or crash worthiness requirements of auto batteries. So that problem is likely to be solved first. Musk is also promoting distributed solar utilities, companies that would own and operate solar panels in residences and sell the homeowner metered electricity just like a utility. Thus homeown
        • by timeOday (582209)
          From the Tesla Motors website: [teslamotors.com] "As we at Tesla reach for our goal of producing a mass market electric car in approximately three years, we have an opportunity to leverage our projected demand for lithium ion batteries to reduce their cost faster than previously thought possible.... By the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per kWh cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent."
  • by GreatDrok (684119) on Friday July 25, 2014 @03:59PM (#47534127) Journal

    I've been reading through the comments and there seems to be so much vitriol aimed at electric vehicles. Sure, this isn't a practical car, but electric vehicles in general can be very practical. We have a petrol powered car at the moment but when it eventually dies (which won't be for some time given how reliable it is, go Mazda!) I would seriously consider an all electric simply because we rarely if ever do trips in our car that are longer than the range of the Nissan Leaf for instance. One tank of fuel lasts us about three weeks so we're averaging around 100 miles a week. We have a garage so we can keep an electric topped up (from roof mounted solar panels) and for the once or twice a year where we need the range of a petrol car I have no issue with nipping over to the nearest car rental place and grabbing whatever I fancy for the trip. The cost savings of switching to an electric will be substantial and we would never have to waste five minutes filling the car up every few weeks so that's a plus.

    It only makes sense to make the switch when we're shopping for a new car but electrics have become easily practical for an every day car when you live in a city and the cost is dropping down to the affordable range. If we were in the country then I would more likely look to a hybrid but for our needs, lugging around a petrol motor just for the rare times we would have to travel more than 100 miles round trip makes no sense.

    If none of the above applies to you and you tow your boat everywhere just in case, and you won't even start your vehicle unless you intend to do an 800 mile round trip, well then, buy a huge 4x4 and be happy with your choice.

    • "The cost savings of switching to an electric will be substantial ..."

      All the analyses I've read say that, so far, it takes a very long time for an EV's total cost to match an ICE's. As the cost of gas continues to increase, then EVs become more cost attractive.
  • You call that a car? wake me up when they achieve that while driving a converted humvee...

  • Inspirational. You managed to elicit a dick waving competition from our fellow geeks in the US, all chanting "Tesla".

    But Telsa isn't in the same league. It can't be. It's a mass produced product.

    Sadly, they don't know what we know. We may be able to design the 1st one. But we can't build the next 1000 economically, unlike Tesla.

    Please guys, devote some of they enthusiasm and energy to figure out how to manufacture the thing. Don't do the work for some Chinese company.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler

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