Road cars are getting more efficient, but they've still got a serious drinking problem compared to the super light creations coming out of the world's universities. The TUfast Eco Team has proven a little bit of energy can go a long way, having just achieved the Guinness World Record for the most efficient electric vehicle.
The car chosen to topple the Guinness World Record was a modified TUfast eLi14, initially created for the 2014 Shell Eco Marathon. In search of even more efficiency, the motor was upgraded with a custom controller, revised magnet placement and silver wire coils. Meanwhile, the original rims made way for a new set, accompanied by ultra-low friction bearings.
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After fixing a few minor issues on the installation lap, the team managed an average energy use of 1142 km/kWh (710 mi/kWh). Having banked one run, the team tweaked the speed controller and tire pressure in search of more.
What they got was 1232 km/kWh (765.53 mi/kWh). That's the equivalent of about 0.009l/100km (26,135 US mpg), which would theoretically allow the car to cover 10,956 km (6808 mi) on just one liter of 95 RON petrol.
The team behind this flying teardrop is made up of students and alumni from the Technical University of Munich. TUfast cars have been regulars in the Shell Eco Marathon since 2011, while the team's sister group competes in the combustion and electric categories at Formula Student each year.
Thankfully, they didn't have to carry out the record attempt on the university campus. Instead, Audi offered up its test track, where the team completed their run under the watchful gaze of Guinness World Record judges.
An Audi video about the record attempt is below. Language warning: it's in German.