The electric car covers a record-breaking distance of 1,000 km on a single charge

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A car has traveled a record-breaking 1,000 km on a single charge – powered by the sun.

The solar-powered Sunswift 7 averaged speeds of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in under 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record.

Designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney, the car achieved a verified time of 11:52:08, finishing its record with just eight minutes remaining.

After completing the challenge at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) in Wensleydale, Victoria, the Sunswift Racing Team now holds the record for ‘Fastest EV 1000km on a single charge’.

The vehicle completed 240 laps of the AARC Highway Circuit, more than the distance driven from Sydney to Melbourne, to set the record.

See SWNS story SWNAcar --- A car has traveled a record-breaking 1000 km on a single charge - powered by the SUN. The solar-powered Sunswift 7 averaged speeds of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in under 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. Designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney, the car achieved a verified time of 11:52:08, finishing its record with just eight minutes remaining. The Sunswift Racing Team, completing the challenge at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) in Wensleydale, Victoria, now holds the record for ???Fastest EV over 1000km on a single charge???. The vehicle completed 240 laps of the AARC Highway Circuit, more than the distance driven from Sydney to Melbourne, to set the record.

The solar-powered Sunswift 7 reached an average speed of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in less than 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record (Credits: Richard Freeman / UNSW / SWNS)

They only stopped every few hours for a driver change – plus a tire change due to a flat tire and a nerve-wracking battery management repair.

The official honor and Guinness World Records certificate were awarded days later after time information and vehicle telemetry data were analyzed and validated by a team of experts.

Andrea Holden, Sunswift Team Manager, a mechanical engineering student at UNSW Sydney, said: “It feels very strange to think that we have helped create something that is the best thing in the world.

“When we started building this car two years ago everything was in lockdown and there were a lot of difficult moments.

“But it was so rewarding to see the whole team come together and make so much progress and get us to this amazing point.

“It was a lot of work, many hours and a lot of stress, but it was worth it.

“This world record is a validation of all the effort that everyone on the team has put in.”

THIS PICTURE: The Sunswift Racing Team, made up of students from UNSW. --- See SWNS story SWNAcar --- A car has traveled a record-breaking 1000 km on a single charge - powered by the SUN. The solar-powered Sunswift 7 averaged speeds of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in under 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. Designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney, the car achieved a verified time of 11:52:08, finishing its record with just eight minutes remaining. The Sunswift Racing Team, completing the challenge at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) in Wensleydale, Victoria, now holds the record for ???Fastest EV over 1000km on a single charge???. The vehicle completed 240 laps of the AARC Highway Circuit, more than the distance driven from Sydney to Melbourne, to set the record.

The Sunswift Racing Team, made up of students from UNSW (Credits: Richard Freeman/UNSW/SWNS)

Sunswift 7 is the latest in a long line of successful solar powered cars from UNSW since production of the first vehicle in 1996.

It weighs just 500 kg, about a quarter of a Tesla, and boasts impressive efficiency thanks to its aerodynamic design, the efficiency of the engines and the entire powertrain, and incredibly low rolling resistance.

See SWNS story SWNAcar --- A car has traveled a record-breaking 1000 km on a single charge - powered by the SUN. The solar-powered Sunswift 7 averaged speeds of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in under 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. Designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney, the car achieved a verified time of 11:52:08, finishing its record with just eight minutes remaining. The Sunswift Racing Team, completing the challenge at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) in Wensleydale, Victoria, now holds the record for ???Fastest EV over 1000km on a single charge???. The vehicle completed 240 laps of the AARC Highway Circuit, more than the distance driven from Sydney to Melbourne, to set the record.

The car was designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney (Credits: UNSW/SWNS)

The record attempt was not without drama as a battery management issue resulted in the car stalling completely at one point.

The rules of the event said Sunswift 7 could not stall for more than 15 minutes at a time – and it took the team 14 minutes and 52 seconds to fix the problem and get back on track.

THIS PICTURE: The car only stopped to allow for a driver change every few hours??? plus a tire change due to puncture --- See SWNS story SWNAcar --- A car has traveled a record-breaking 1000 km on a single charge - powered by the SUN. The solar-powered Sunswift 7 averaged speeds of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in under 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. Designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney, the car achieved a verified time of 11:52:08, finishing its record with just eight minutes remaining. The Sunswift Racing Team, completing the challenge at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) in Wensleydale, Victoria, now holds the record for ???Fastest EV over 1000km on a single charge???. The vehicle completed 240 laps of the AARC Highway Circuit, more than the distance driven from Sydney to Melbourne, to set the record.

The car only stopped to allow for a driver change every few hours, as well as a tire change due to a flat tire (Credits: Richard Freeman/UNSW/SWNS)

Team boss, professor of practice Richard Hopkins, says the world record shows what is possible and what can be achieved, albeit at a significant weight advantage over street-legal cars, which require a host of features such as airbags and air conditioning, and the Sunswift 7 is not included.

Professor Hopkins won four F1 world titles as Head of Operations at Red Bull, but ranks this Guinness record just as high.

He says: “This is amazing, unbelievable. Wow. The whole year has gotten to this point and it hasn’t been easy. To be honest, we had our doubts that we would make it.

“Coming here and doing what we set out to do is just the most amazing feeling. I’m sure these feelings will be shared throughout the team.”

See SWNS story SWNAcar --- A car has traveled a record-breaking 1000 km on a single charge - powered by the SUN. The solar-powered Sunswift 7 averaged speeds of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in under 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. Designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney, the car achieved a verified time of 11:52:08, finishing its record with just eight minutes remaining. The Sunswift Racing Team, completing the challenge at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) in Wensleydale, Victoria, now holds the record for ???Fastest EV over 1000km on a single charge???. The vehicle completed 240 laps of the AARC Highway Circuit, more than the distance driven from Sydney to Melbourne, to set the record.

The car posted a verified time of 11 hours 52:08, completing its record with just eight minutes remaining (Credits: Richard Freeman/UNSW/SWNS)

Prof. Hopkins paid tribute to the student team by saying: “Let’s remember that these are not the highest paid professional car manufacturers in Stuttgart who work for Mercedes. This is a bunch of very smart amateurs who have taken all the ingredients and put them together brilliantly.

“I don’t like to call them ‘normal’ students. This is because UNSW is the top ranked engineering university in Australia and this is the top engineering project within the university. That’s how it attracts the very best.

“But these young men and women are the future and they have already proven what they are capable of here with Sunswift – imagine what they will do when we unleash them into the wider world.

“This team focused on ultimate efficiency to break this world record. They have shown what is ultimately possible when you focus on aerodynamics, rolling resistance and the use of smart materials.

See SWNS story SWNAcar --- A car has traveled a record-breaking 1000 km on a single charge - powered by the SUN. The solar-powered Sunswift 7 averaged speeds of nearly 85 km/h (53 mph) in under 12 hours, setting a Guinness World Record. Designed and built by students at UNSW Sydney, the car achieved a verified time of 11:52:08, finishing its record with just eight minutes remaining. The Sunswift Racing Team, completing the challenge at the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) in Wensleydale, Victoria, now holds the record for ???Fastest EV over 1000km on a single charge???. The vehicle completed 240 laps of the AARC Highway Circuit, more than the distance driven from Sydney to Melbourne, to set the record.

The car broke the record at the Australian Automotive Research Center (Credits: Richard Freeman / UNSW / SWNS)

“During this record, energy consumption was just 3.8 kWh/100 km, while even the most efficient electric vehicles on the road today only achieve 15 kWh/100 km, with the average being around 20 kWh/100 km.

“Sunswift 7 is not a production car of the future as we have compromised on comfort and the cost is prohibitive. But we have shown that it is possible to make cars more efficient, more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.

“I used to work in Formula 1 and nobody believes that in five or ten years we will be running F1 cars on the road. But the technology they use in F1 really pushes the boundaries and some of that is filtered down [to regular vehicles] and that’s what we’re trying to achieve with Sunswift, and this world record shows it’s achievable.’

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/22/electric-car-makes-a-record-breaking-1000km-journey-on-single-charge-17981886/ The electric car covers a record-breaking distance of 1,000 km on a single charge

Justin Scacco

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