Student-Built Electric Race Car Goes From 0-62 Mph in 1.513 Seconds

©. ETH Zurich / Alessandro Della Bella

It's not directly related to greener living, but it is a major feather in the cap of electric car engineering, which could help inform the future of clean transport.

The latest iteration of an electric race car from Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), which is made up of some 30 university students from ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, broke the world record for electric car acceleration on June 22nd, with the team's grimsel vehicle reaching 100 kmh (62 mph) in a blistering 1.513 seconds, taking less than 30 meters to hit that speed.

According to Wikipedia's listing of "fastest production cars by acceleration," the grimsel is actually more than half a second faster than the Porsche 918 Spyder at the top of the list, in part due to its ridiculously light weight and powerful electric drive system. The grimsel incorporates carbon fiber materials and weighs just 168 kg (370 lb), and is equipped with four wheel hub motors "capable of generating 200 hp and 1700 Nm of torque," along with an advanced traction control system to individually regulate each wheel's performance.

Take a look at this fantastic piece of engineering:

The vehicle was built to compete in the Formula Student, or Formula SAE, which is a yearly global competition (an "educational motorsport competition") in which teams of students build new cars to compete against each other (and the clock) in terms of the design, engineering, and performance of their vehicles. The teams don't race head-to-head, so to speak, as with true auto racing, partly due to the fact that these teams are building prototypes, not a 'stable' of cars, as well as the truly amateur nature of the student drivers. The AMZ team set the world record in 2014, then lost it to another team last year, so this year's entry puts them solidly back on top of the electric race car acceleration throne.