Story by Bryan Hood / Image Credit: Rob Report
It’s college students—and not well-funded automakers—who have been pushing the boundaries of EV performance lately.
TUfast Eco, a group of students from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have built the longest-range EV in the world, according to Inside EVs. The prototype, which doesn’t feature a massive battery pack or solar panels, drove nearly 1,600 miles on a single charge.
The record was set in an empty airplane hangar located at the Munich airport earlier this month as part of the IAA Mobility fair. The EV, which is called the “muc022,” beat the previous mark of 999.5 miles in four days, but with more juice left in the battery, the students decided to keep going. The car eventually would come to a stop two days later, having covered 1,599.27 miles over 99 straight hours of operation (students slept at the hangar during the run). That meant that the team broke the previous record by about 600 miles.
The TUfast Eco team and the “muc022” prototype.
Image Credit: Rob Report
The record-setting muc022 weighs just 374 pounds and features a permanent-magnet synchronous motor that produces 400 watts (the equivalent of about 0.5 hp). Modifications were made to the EV, which had been used for previous competitions, to improve aerodynamic performance and shed weight, according to TUM. The battery was also replaced with a larger 15.5-kWh pack, though that is still seven times smaller than the 100-kWh battery that powers the Mercedes-Benz EQXX prototype, which has a range of 747 miles. The student’s EV consumed only 0.9 kWh per 62 miles (100 km), which compares quite favorably to the 8.3 kWh consumed by the EQXX over the same distance.
The amazing feat has earned TUfast Eco a spot in the record books. The team and its EV were recognized at IAA by Guinness World Records as having set the record for “Greatest distance by electric vehicle, single charge (non-solar).”
The team from TUM is the second group of college students to set an EV record this month. Earlier this week, Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), which consists of science students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University, announced that its battery-powered Mythen single-seater had been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s fastest accelerating EV after it shot from zero to 62 mph in just 0.956 seconds. That’s significantly quicker than the two quickest production EVs, the McMurtry Spéirling and the Rimac Nevera, which can reach the speed in 1.4 seconds and 1.81 seconds, respectively).