One of the biggest concerns that buyers have with today's electric vehicles is the limited distances that they can go on a single charge, but an experimental vehicle is beginning to show how quickly those issues could pass. The University of New South Wales Australia has been working on electric vehicles for nearly two decades, and it says that its best car recently set a new record for how fast an electric vehicle can go over a long distance on one charge. Its vehicle, the Sunswift, is said to have traveled at an average of just over 62 miles per hour (100 km/h) for over 300 miles (500 kilometres) — topping the 26-year-old record of traveling at an average of just over 45 miles per hour (73km) for the same distance.
"Pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive"
The results still have to be verified by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile before the new record is official, but if they do, the Sunswift will have set a dramatically improved figure for what can be done with an electric car. "500 kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day," project director Hayden Smith says in a statement. "It's another demonstration that one day you could be driving our car." UNSW Australia's ultimate goal is to get Sunswift on the road, though it doesn't say if that would immediately be at a price that most consumers can afford (or even aspire to).
The Sunswift should actually be able to perform far better on the road than it did in the trial. The vehicle's topside is largely coated with solar panels so that its battery can be continually recharged, though those panels were disabled while trying to set the record. Had they been enabled, the car presumably would have had additional charge in its tank, allowing it to continue on even farther.