Well that didn't last long. It's been less than a month since Simon Hackett set something of a electric vehicle distance record in his Tesla Roadster, driving 501 km (311 miles) across the hot and flat Australian outback with the windows up and the air-con off. Now comes news that the dedicated enthusiasts of the Japan EV Club have decidedly bested that mark and are seeking Guinness Book of Records status for their own 555.6 km (345 miles) run. Club founder Tadashi Tateuchi battled terrible traffic and hilly Japanese terrain as he drove a super-sweet electrified Daihatsu Mira Van from Tokyo to Osaka.

The secret to their success, we believe, lay in the quality of their conversion. Starting with an extremely light kei car, the team professionally installed a monster 74 kWh lithium ion battery pack from its Sanyo sponsor under the floor. The power supplied by the 240.5 volt system fed a 14 kW (nominal) brushless DC motor hooked up the the Mira's 5-speed gearbox. Topped off with a snazzy-looking wrap, the package rolled along on low-resistance Eco Walkers from Toyo Tires. The effort got its own (Japanese) website and the event was live-blogged over the 13 and-a-half hours that the trip lasted. We don't know how long the Japan EV Club can hold onto this record, but we imagine they are hoping advancements in energy storage force it to fall sooner rather than later. Thanks to Motoko for the tip!

[Source: Japan EV Club via Car Watch]
Photo: Courtesy of Japan EV Club

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