They call themselves Sunswift. A team of UNSW Sydney students from varying disciplines – mechanical, electrical, reneweable energy, photovoltaics engineering, computer science, commerce, art and industrial design. Sunswift is an entirely student-run and not-for-profit initiative and since it’s establishment have produced 6 solar cars and are regular competitors in the biennial Bridgestone World Solar Challenge – an international university competition racing 3,000km from Darwin to Adelaide.
They began their journey yesterday in an attempt to set a new Guiness World Record for the lowest energy consumption driving trans-Australia – electric car. Travelling 4000km coast to coast from Perth to Sydney, they’ll be aiming to use eight times less energy per kilometre than a Tesla (5.5kw per hour). That translates to $45 to run the car for the entire travel.
“When cruising, our car, Violet uses about the same amount of energy as a four-slice toaster.” explains Chelsea Liang, 18, Operations Lead for the Sunswift solar car team. Their journey took them from North Beach in Perth through Coolgardie, Ceduna, Port Augusta, Berri, Hay, Yass before arriving back home at McMahon’s Point.
The students hope that by taking on this challenge they will inspire all Australians to learn more about solar technology and the planet-saving benefits of renewable energy.