Meet Sunswift’s Ivy solar racer, which – as of last week – is the fastest solar-powered car on the planet. Sunswift took the “world’s fastest” crown las week, when the Australian built Sunswift IV (nicknamed “Ivy”) posted a 54.7 mph record run, smashing the previous 49 mph record by nearly 10%.
Designed by students and faculty at the University of New South Wales, the Sunswift Ivy was built around “open source” principles that helped the small team push technology forward by pooling brainpower with experienced engineers, hackers, and tinkerers around the world. Development hasn’t stopped, either, with one spokeswoman from UNSW predicting 55+ mph cruising speeds in the near future.
Ivy is powered solely by solar cells, which charge batteries capable of putting out approx. 1200 watts of energy – enough to power its driver (Barton Mawer, above) to more than 64 mph in unofficial tests.