• Jan 12th 2011 at 9:58AM
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Late last week, the Australian-built solar racer, Sunswift IV, officially captured the title of the world's fastest solar-powered vehicle. Designed by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the Sunswift IV – known as IVy – smashed the previous record of 79 kilometers per hour (49 miles per hour) by posting a 54.7 mph run. A UNSW spokesman said there could be another record set soon: "We've beaten the record by 10 km/h (per hour) - it reached a speed of 88 km/h - and we think we can get it over 90 km/h."

Powered solely by silicon solar cells that capture energy from the sun, the IVy, driven by Barton Mawer, hit the pavement at the HMAS Albatross naval base at Nowra on New South Wales' southern coast. At its record-setting speed, the IVy cranks out approximately 1,200 watts of energy. In a race back in 2009, the IVy hit a top speed of 103 km/h (64 mph), but that run was unofficial and, therefore, not logged in the record books.

[Source: What's on Ningbo, Sunswift]

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