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Electric Commodore breaks EV distance record

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The Australian-engineered and developed fully-electric Holden Commodore has unofficially broken the world distance record set by a production electric car, achieving 1886 kilometres of pure electric driving over a 24-hour period on the weekend.

EV Engineering, the Melbourne-based, purpose-built multi-company collaboration behind the Commodore EV’s development, says the unofficial new record, achieved on Sunday, was enabled through the “ground-breaking” battery-switch technology of EV Engineering member, Better Place.

Using the one EV, a team of 16 engineers drove one 122km loop each on public roads in Melbourne, between Port Melbourne and Geelong. At the end of each lap, the Commodore’s depleted battery – with between 20 and 25 per cent charge left (indicating a total range of 150km) – was switched in the EV Engineering workshop, with a total of 15 battery switches over the 24 hours.

EV Engineering says the mechanism used to switch the battery was a scaled-down version of Better Place’s battery switch stations that are set to be rolled out in Australia in the near future. Australia will be the company’s third global roll-out market after Israel and Denmark, where operational battery switch stations are already in place.

“It’s a great feeling to see the electric car our team designed and developed here in Australia has beaten a world distance record. While our achievement is not an official record, it’s a sound validation of our car’s capabilities,” said CEO of EV Engineering, Ian McCleave.

“When we began the project to develop a proof-of-concept electric Commodore, it was critical that we incorporate ground-breaking battery switch technology. That’s what got us across the line. We were able to quickly switch our depleted battery for a fully charged one, so we didn’t have to park and plug in in order to recharge. We were able to just drive, switch, and keep going.

“We are very proud of the team’s efforts this weekend. It shows that with battery switch, the age of the electric car has truly arrived”, Mr McCleave said.

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  • http://reddit Car Guy

    I don’t see how this adds up.
    They drive 1 x 122km lap which uses 75 – 80% of the battery capacity.

    Then it is claimed that the battery is swapped out and replaced although the old battery still had capacity to go approximately 150km (which is further htan the original 75-80% capacity would have taken it)?

    Doesn’t make sense to me.
    Sticking with diesel.

    • Sophie Vorrath

      Hi Car guy, your confusion comes down to an editorial error – as the corrected version says, the amount left in the battery after each 122km indicates a total battery range of around 150km.

  • http://www.evplus.com.au Eric

    Thanks Sophie for answering this.
    Further explanation on lap length. The 122Km lap was a perfect distance for these Lithium cells. It is always good to leave 20%-25% in the battery, it gives them an overall longer life.
    Congratulations EV Engineering for creating a normal sized car with a very good range.

  • John Dunning

    On November 26-27, 1994, a purely electric General Motors Geo Metro traveled 1319.2 miles on the streets of Los Angeles in 24 hours. The vehicle used a quick change mechanism and three battery packs to achieve this goal. The team was led by Dr. John Dunning of GM’s Delco Propulsion Systems and Dr. Alec Brooks of AeroVironment and was based in Monrovia, CA. These two collaborated on the earlier development of the Impact electric car prototype of the GM EV-1. I believe this is the true world record at this time and it was achieved 17 years ago. The use of quick change technology is not new, having been an industrial practice in fork lift batteries for many years. Congratulations to the Commoodore Team for a brilliant effort and great accomplishment.