At 10am on Monday 14 May 2012, Professor Tim Flannery launched the Climate Commission’s report 'The Critical Decade: NSW Impacts and Opportunities' outside the Sydney Opera House. They had borrowed the world’s fastest solar powered car for the event.
Tim Smith, a student at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) who is studying a double degree in Mechanical Engineering and Physics explained to Digital Journal that under solar power alone it is the fastest solar powered car in the world and had essentially been built by the UNSW undergraduates.
The inside if the vehicle was very compact with only enough room for a small person to be squeezed inside.
Charith Perera who is studying Electrical Engineering told Digital Journal that it is a very tight fit and not very comfortable at all inside. Any students with an interest in the project can get involved. “There are big mechanical and electrical divisions and then anyone interested - anyone with free time.” He said.
The number plate is Sunset74. Charith explained: “There is a temporary registration for the race time, in the state that we’re driving in. We can get a temporary permit to drive it on the road but it’s not permanent. It’s somewhat of a prototype.”
The UNSW Sunswift solar racing team have a comprehensive website.
In 2011, the team beat a twenty-two year record by more than 10kms an hour to form a new Guinness World Record. The new world record set by Sunswift IV was 88kms an hour.