Yesterday we reported on students in Switzerland setting a blistering 0-62 mph electric vehicle acceleration record of only 0.956 seconds. Today we’re putting the spotlight on students in Germany who just set a new world record for the longest-range electric vehicle in the world. The road to this new record is a fascinating story. It includes intense vehicle prep, a grueling six-day test, and the students sleeping on cots in an aircraft hangar. Here’s how the students earned the longest-range EV world record.
Putting Studies into Practice
The car used to set the longest-range electric vehicle world record is called the “muc022.” The muc022 isn’t new. It was previously used in competitions for efficient electric cars. The team behind the car is the TUfast Eco student initiative team from the Technical University of Munich. Teams like TUfast Eco give students a chance to put what they’ve learned in their studies into practice and to conduct independent research. For example, in addition to this longest-range EV record the team is involved in other competitions like the Shell Eco Marathon. In 2023, the team competed in the Urban Concept category. This category requires the vehicles to bear a certain similarity to viable passenger cars. In 2022, the TUfast Eco team took Second Place in the overall ranking and came in first in several sub-categories. Point is, the team obviously knows what they’re doing.
Longest-Range EV World Record
The muc022 took 18 months to develop, design, manufacture, and test when it was new. The TUfast Eco team modified the ultra-aerodynamic vehicle for the long-range record. In its current form, the 375-pound car is fitted with a 400W permanent-magnet synchronous motor and a larger 15.5 kWh battery. The world record took place in an empty aircraft hangar provided by the Munich airport. The hangar was an important piece of the puzzle because it ensured that the world record attempt could continue even if there was inclement weather.
The Record, By the Numbers
The TUfast Eco team needed a goal, and it was easy to find. In October 2017 IT Asset Partners set the Guinness World Record for “greatest distance covered by electric vehicle, single charge (non-solar).” The vehicle used for that record was called “The Phoenix” and it covered 999.5 miles. The TUfast Eco team covered that distance in four days. And since the battery in the muc022 had plenty of charge remaining the team continued driving for another two days. In the end, the muc022 traveled 1,599.3 miles in 99 hours. This is an average speed of 16 mph. The car only consumed 0.6 kWh for each 62 miles driven. For comparison, the TUfast Eco team notes that extremely economical EVs consume approximately 13 kWh in 62 miles.
The Bottom Line
This record is astonishing. It demonstrates that a goal of squeezing maximum range is achievable. And that’s good because range is on the mind of most EV owners and potential buyers. Furthermore, exercises like this offer valuable insight into things to integrate into road-ready, production EVs to increase range.