Tesla has a new competitor, and it's not from BMW or General Motors. It's from Australian university students, whose electric Sunswift eVe set a new world record for fastest average speed?more than 60mph?over 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single battery charge, on July 23. That's a big deal: Range is the biggest issue holding back the widespread adoption of EVs, and this record shows the car can drive hundreds of miles at a reasonable highway speed. It stomped on the old record, a mere 45 mph, and drove farther than even the Tesla Model S, the current king of EVs, can go on a full charge.
The eVe is a lovely-looking car whose battery pack can be charged from a regular wall outlet, or using the array of solar panels on its hood and roof. It's the fifth vehicle made by the students, from the University of New South Wales; its predecessors date back to 1996 and include the IVy, which still holds the record for fastest drive by a solar-powered vehicle at 55 mph, set in 2011.