Recently, the Schluckspecht E took to Bosch's 2,945-meter (1.83-mile) test track in Boxberg, Germany. Some 36 hours and 12 minutes later, the all-electric Schluckspecht came to a halt. In that amount time, the Schluckspecht reportedly covered 1,631.5 kilometers (1,013.8 miles).

Since 36 hours is far too long a time to for one person to spend behind the wheel of the cramped Schluckspecht, four drivers took turns at the helm. At appropriate intervals, the drivers would swap in and out of the Schluckspecht, but at no time during the lapping of the track did the vehicle's 23-kWh lithium-cobalt battery pack get recharged.

The Schluckspecht was developed at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, in collaboration with Frauenhofter Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems. The electric vehicle sports extremely aerodynamic bodywork, two hub-mounted electric motors and an optimized battery management system that evenly divides the load among 14 individual lithium-cobalt battery packs.

If the charge-free, 36-plus-hour lapping can be verified, then the 1,013.8 miles covered by the Schluckspecht E will top the current record books. If so, then our hearty congratulations go out to the Schluckspecht team


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  • 31 Comments
      GoodCheer
      • 3 Years Ago
      To the three posters before me: It's a very specific vehicle for a very specific task; a very specifically worded record. I don't think they're claiming that this is relevant to cars on the street. Your disinterested in their metric of success does not diminish their success. It's a remarkable accomplishment, some beautiful engineering, probably a heck of a fun project to be part of, and a record (as far as I know, thoroughly smashed).
        letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer
        Well, said GoodCheer. We see people whinging and whining on ABG all the time because the article or its contents don't impress them. WFC? Oh, noes! Mallard and 2WM aren't impressed?!? BFD. Kudos to the Schluckspecht Team, for all their hard work and effort. It paid off, and we're happy to celebrate you! I hope your experience carries you far.
        Mallard
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer
        I understand that it's a very focused vehicle built for a very specific task. It has a very low Cd and very low rolling resistance. My problem with it is it's still not relevant to me. You could have pedaled that car faster and farther in that amount of time. Their battery management system is interesting, but the record still fails to impress me because it wasn't very realistic.
          Ernie Dunbar
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mallard
          No you couldn't. Your legs would give out after about two hours. To be able to ride even 100 km in one day requires a fairly high degree of fitness. To be able to ride 200 km in one day requires an exceptional degree if fitness. More than that, and you're getting into the realm of top 2% of human beings. 1000 km in 36 hours? That's insanely superhuman.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer
        Yeah i totally agree. Nice mileage record but let's talk about improving the cars that 99.9% of all people drive.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer
        @Goodcheer. You are quite right. It's this sort of exercises that develops the technology that eventually finds it's way into production models. To the best of my knowledge the team behind the Schluckspecht are not proposing a production model! But the lessons learned by these young engineers will prove invaluable to EV design and innovation as they move on to employment in auto manufacture.
          Ernie Dunbar
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Um, yes. The lessons learned here: 1. Weight matters. 2. Cd matters. 3. The speed at which you drive *really* matters, since the force of aerodynamic drag increases with the cube of speed. We knew this 80 years ago. The physics for building super-efficient cars hasn't changed a whit in that time. Likewise, what the public wants in a car hasn't changed much in that time either. The public wants a vehicle that can carry at least one passenger, has four wheels, is comfortable enough to sit in for at least 2 hours, and looks cool. Sometimes the public also wants to be able to carry 7 passengers and a boatload of stuff. And if you do the math for "vehicle that carries 7 passengers and a boatload of stuff" you'll see that minivans already get the best possible mileage considering the weight required to do the job. Especially if you're not going to build the thing out of carbon fibre or unobtainium, both of which I hear are quite expensive.
        Stacey
        • 3 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer
        I think we got input from the NASCAR crowd with those comments...
          fairfireman21
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Stacey
          Then please tell us, how does this help with a passenger car?
      Ben Crockett
      • 3 Years Ago
      This an example of excellence of automotive engineering in efficiency. I see this kind of achievement as really impressive and it is encouraging to the possibility of this tech being filtered down into regular passenger cars.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Snap!
        Ernie Dunbar
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        *What* technology? Put the same "technology" into a Nissan Leaf, and you'd get roughly the same "100-mile" (really, 73 miles by the EPA estimation) range, since this is actually a slightly smaller battery. In fact, you can squeeze about 130 or 140 miles out of a stock Leaf (an improvement of 100% over the EPA rating, FWIW) by driving it under these exact same conditions - driving an average of 30 miles per hour on a closed circuit track on level ground. The "special sauce" this car has over the Leaf is that it's tiny, light, and the tires are skinny. You can do the same thing with a gas engine and get hundreds of miles per gallon. We've known this for 80 years, it's just that noone would ever want to drive a car like this on their way to work, so noone will sell it to the public. That, and such a beast has been made illegal for sale by safety regulations.
      winc06
      • 3 Years Ago
      28 mph? Big whoop.
        super390
        • 3 Years Ago
        @winc06
        What's the average actual speed on Los Angeles' freeway system? With a majority of the human population living in cities for the first time, that's what future drivers face.
          Timo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @super390
          You need better public transportation in Los Angeles. That place is famous of non-working traffic system. One well working subway can transport way more people than a freeway full of cars faster than those cars can go, and you don't need to worry about parking place at the destination. In a city with really working public transportation you don't need a car at all. That's what future city should look like. It is not the cities that need cars, it is the rural areas where public transportation is meaningless concept.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @super390
          My car has an average speed travelled and it is stuck at 32mph. I live in the San Francisco Bay area. And not in the city.
      Rich M
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a great novelty but does nothing for advancing real electric vehicles. Anyone can throw batteries and a motor inside a plastic shell with bicycle tires and get this result - they've been doing it for years, it's not innovation. We need propulsion tech that can move a crash-worthy vehicle with people or cargo at highway speeds for a respectable amount of time, not another publicity stunt (sponsored by Shell, big surprise)
      EV News
      • 3 Years Ago
      They compare it to the Japanese record But........... this is not a CAR! This vehicle is in a class where the entire vehicle is specifically designed to break MPG records. The fuel economy world record using such prototypes is 15,000 MPG-imp. The Japanese set an EV record of 1,003.184 using a 74 kWh battery pack but they used an actual CAR, A Daihatsu Mira.
      • 3 Years Ago
      45 kph or 28 mph, sounds like conventional minicar speed. However it's a result of some good hypermiling since 'Top Gear'-style math (23 kWh / 4 kW) would result to around 5 h 45 min of driving. Solar racers (c. 5 kWh uninterruptible power supply) only use around kilowatt to keep on going. Schluckspecht E gets around with about 635 watts so rather well done.
      Chris M
      • 3 Years Ago
      They managed it with just 23 Kwh of electricity? There is a lot of potential to exceed that record with bigger or higher energy battery packs. One wonders how long this record will last.
        letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris M
        Eventually the records will be grouped according to battery capacity, and an overall "per kWh" category? Simply beating a record with just a bigger battery doesn't show much advancement.
      Mallard
      • 3 Years Ago
      Setting the record at a blistering 28 mph average...
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mallard
        Yes, and that is the most important factor in the record, fuel economy rises at slower speeds. BTW, some of the driving had to have been done at higher speeds, as they stopped several times to change drivers.
          Timo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          @Fairfireman, simple mathemathics, 1,013.8 miles in 36 hours and 12 minutes average 28mph, but that includes stops, which means actual maximum (and average) speed of driving had to be higher than that. Probably at least 29-30mph depending of the frequency of the stops and how long it took for them to swap drivers.
          fairfireman21
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          Chris, Why would it have to been driven faster because they switched drivers? If I pull over to let my wife drive does that meen she is going to drive faster or slower than me. If the cruise is set at 30 mph and you change drivers and they set it at 30 did anyone drive faster or slower than the next? 28 mph was probably top end for this thing, who knows.
          Mallard
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          Yes, at lower speeds the wind resistance is MUCH lower, allowing them to travel farther on a given amount of energy. I guess my problem with it is: if you're only going to travel ~30 mph, why not pedal. You can easily ride that fast and faster on a bike, so why not pedal this vehicle and go a farther distance, in less time, with no expensive batteries or rare earth mangets? Which one is really GREEN? I won't be impressed until they push this vehicle up to normal speeds travel at; i.e. test it in real world conditions. In that respect, the VW diesel 1+1 vehicle is much more impressive to me.
          Timo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          I would be actually interested seeing how far you could go with electric motor aided aerodynamically covered bicycle. Or tricycle. Which point weight of the battery pack starts to reduce the overall efficiency of the pedaling. Make the speed requirement a bit higher, lets say 50mph for aided pedaling and you would have a really interesting result that could actually have some real life application.
          letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          "...so why not pedal this vehicle..." Please don't get the "bicycles are inefficient because of the food calories" crowd all riled up. I'm pretty sure 2 Wheeled Menace has a web site dedicated to showing that EVs use less energy, WTW, than a bicycle does.
          John R
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris M
          http://www.ihpva.org/ http://www.twike.com/
      greg
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about doing something a little more realistic. Drive at 10mph increments and see what kind of mileage you get. 30mph,40mph,50,60 etc. Its unrealistic to drive a car at 28mph for 36hours.
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