The Sunswift project of the University of New South Wales, Australia, exists to provide university students with a multi-disciplinary engineering challenge, enhancing the true educational value of their degree with a unique hands-on real-world experience of creating solar–electric hybrid vehicles. The design and development of the low-drag ‘solar supercar’ Sunswift eVe car are described here, detailing the student-led process from initial concept sketches to the completed performance vehicle. eVe was designed to demonstrate the potential of effective solar integration into a practical passenger-carrying vehicle. It is a two-seater vehicle with an on-body solar array area of 4 m2 and a battery capacity of 16 kW h, which is capable of sustained speeds over 130 km/h and a single-charge range of over 800 km. Carbon fiber was used extensively, and the components were almost all designed, built, and tested by students with industry and academic mentorship. The eVe project was initiated in mid-2012, and the car competed in the 2013 World Solar Challenge, taking class line honours. It subsequently set a Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile land speed record in 2014 for the fastest average speed of an electric vehicle over 500 km; it is now the team’s intent to develop the car to road-legal status.


Aerospace Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/aero_fac/146