This solar car will steal your heart with its uncanny looks and whopping 1,000 km range

Dan Smith

Which electric car do you think has the best range? If you're thinking a Tesla, you're not close, so think again. It currently holds the title of the world's longest-range EV The car in question is a Lucid Air Dream Edition R with a certified range of 520 miles (804.6 km) on a single charge. But with the solar car trick, you can go even further. If you want all the range you can get, it's time to read about the Sunswift 7, which outperforms all EVs on the planet in terms of solar power when it comes to covering long distances. is an electric vehicle.

Solar-powered electric car, Sunswift 7. Image credit: Sunswift Racing/Facebook.

Developed by a group of students from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Sunswift 7 looks like you've time traveled from the future to 2022. Most recently, he set a Guinness World Record for covering 621 distances. Miles (1000 km) within 12 hours on a single charge. That's 101 miles more than the Lucid Dream Air claims and nearly 200 miles more than the Tesla Model S offers. Although the Sunswift 7 isn't commercially available (its current design lacks basic components like airbags, air conditioning units, wipers and anti-lock braking systems), it's still making waves. In a world that sees the rise of electric vehicles powered by battery systems of all kinds, from lithium-ion to hydrogen fuel cells, solar cars may still have a place.

The car is more of a proof of concept than something you can buy. Richard Hopkins, UNSW Sunswift Racing Team Principal and former head of operations for his Formula One team at Red Bull, said in his press release:

“The Sunswift 7 is not the production car of the future because we are sacrificing comfort and the cost is prohibitive. But we want our cars to be more efficient, more sustainable and greener. If there is, we have shown that it is possible.”

Sunswift continues its record-breaking legacy

The Sunswift 7 set a world record for 1000km in 11:52:08. With an average driving speed of 85 km/h (52.8 mph), it was the fastest EV with a range of 1000 km. A total of 240 laps of the Australian Automotive Research Center (AARC) highway circuit, the only stops being either the driver or a tire change or a maintenance check on him.

The UNSW team attempted to apply engineering principles employed in Formula 1 cars to make the Sunswift a high-performance long-range vehicle.

"I used to work in F1 and no one thought that in five or 10 years we would be driving F1 cars on the road. But the technology they use in F1 really pushes boundaries. Spread it out and filter down some of it. [to regular vehicles] That's what we're trying to do with Sunswift, and what this world record shows is achievable," explained Professor Hopkins.
But that's not the only vehicle the UNSW Sunswift team has excelled at breaking records. Sunswift 7's predecessor, Solarswift Violet, was the 2018 Guinness World Record holder for the world's most energy-efficient EV.

Interestingly, the story doesn't end here. The Violet was preceded by the Sunswift 5 EV, which drove 500 km on a single charge while maintaining an average speed of 107 km/h. This car broke a record that has not been broken for 26 years. Due to its incredible performance, the International Automobile Federation named his 2014 Sunswift 5 the fastest EV in the world. With twice the range of the 2014 model, the Sunswift 7 successfully continued the trend set by the previous model. What's even more amazing is that all of these amazing solar EVs from Sunswift Racing were developed from the ground up by a group of college students. Even in the middle of the 1000km journey, the car's battery system suddenly had a problem.

The students had to solve this problem within 15 minutes to break the previous Guinness World Record, and they completed it just 8 seconds before the deadline.

"Remember, they are not the highest paid professional carmakers working for Mercedes in Stuttgart. This is a very smart amateur who combines all the elements brilliantly. It's a collection of people," says Professor Hopkins.


Sunswift 7 harvests solar energy from solar panels embedded in the chassis. It has solar panels on the roof, sides and front. Forget 1000 km range. Even compared to the most efficient EV in terms of energy consumption, the difference is staggering.
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According to the UNSW team, a typical EV consumes 20 kWh of energy for every 100 km traveled. Even the most efficient electric vehicle needs at least 15 kWh to travel the same distance. Can you guess the energy consumption of the Sunswift 7? 3.8 kWh per 100 km, about 75% more efficient than the most efficient EV available on the market today. But we have yet to see a commercial solar-powered EV like the Sunswift 7. A solar EV with incredible range and all the amenities you would find in a regular car. Energy consumption at that time may change, but for now the Sunswift 7 shows the great benefits of using solar energy in a car. You can read the original UNSW press release here.