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Save up to $5,485 on a new Holden Commodore
Peter Anderson | Jul 25, 2012

Australian outfit EV Engineering set an unofficial world distance record of 1886 kilometres, in its own all-electric Holden Commodore.

Kicking off last Saturday morning, the team drove back and forth between Port Melbourne and Geelong for 24 hours, with each return trip covering 122km of public roads.

They didn't do it all on one charge, though: at the end of each loop, EV's team swapped the drained battery pack for a fresh unit.

EV said that each time the batteries were removed, they were tested for charge level, averaging between 20 and 25 percent of charge remaining (making for a Leaf-rivalling range of 150km).

“It’s a great feeling to see the electric car our team designed and developed here in Australia has beaten a world distance record," EV Engineering CEO Ian McCleave said.

"While our achievement is not an official record, it’s a sound validation of our car’s capabilities."

The battery swapping process was a 'scaled down' version of the 'battery switch stations' that infrastructure provider Better Place will soon roll out to support electric cars.

Australia is the third country to gain Better Place's charging infrastructure, following Israel and Denmark.

“When we began the project to develop a proof-of-concept electric Commodore, it was critical that we incorporate ground-breaking battery-switch technology," McCleave said.

"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 order to recharge. We were able to just drive, switch, and keep going."

This isn't the first epic feat the EV Engineering team has achieved: V8 Supercar driver and Channel 7 commentator Mark Skaife took a battery-powered Commodore around Sandown in February. (See the video clips below.)

EV Engineer was established as a joint venture between a number of automotive suppliers including Bosch, GE and A Better Place.

The aim of the joint venture is to develop a proof-of-concept Australian electric vehicle, supported by a $3.55 million boost from the Australian Government's Green Car Innovation Fund.

As recently last as week, the company announced that it had completed seven all-electric Commodores.

In June, a Renault ZOE covered 1618km in 24 hours, but unlike the Commodore's unofficial mark, this included stopping to charge the ZOE, and was set on a closed test track.

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