UNSW's Sunswift solar racing team has unveiled a new car which can reach 115km/h using the same amount of power it takes to make your morning toast.
Sunswift IV, affectionately known to the team as IVy, is a three-wheeled, hand-built carbon fibre machine. The car cruises at 90km/h and can reach a top speed of 115km/h using just 1,300 watts, the same amount of power it takes to toast two slices of bread.
The Sunswift team will debut the car in this year's Global Green Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide.
Sunswift IV will be the only solar car entry from NSW, and the only student-run team from Australia, to contest the tough 3000km endurance test for solar and eco-friendly vehicles.
The race draws competitors from around the world, including big-budget solar racing teams from the United States and the Netherlands.
The race starts in Darwin on October 24, with Sunswift expected to reach Adelaide within five days.
Team Leader Clara Mazzone, who is studying Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW, said the Sunswift team had put in an extraordinary effort to prepare the new car and raise the $280,000 needed to fund the project and race campaign.
"The 60 students in the team have given up their spare time over the past 18 months to design, build and fund this vehicle," she said.
"Although IVy is a race vehicle, it has a new design, including a steering wheel and upright seating position, which brings it closer to something we might see on the road in the future."
About the same footprint as a small sedan but half the height and one-tenth the weight, the single-seater car produces no carbon emissions and can run on battery power, stored from its solar cell array, for up to five hours when sunlight is not available.
The team leaves for Darwin on Sunday, October 11, and will visit a number of schools during their road trip to the Northern Territory.
Sunswift contacts: Clara Mazzone, Project Leader | 0449 160 600; Jono Pye, Team Leader | 0413 229 761
UNSW Media Office: Peter Trute | 02 9385 1933 | 0410 271 826 | firstname.lastname@example.org