It weighs just 51 pounds.
A group of students and alumni from the Technical University of Munich now holds a Guinness World Record for the most efficient electric vehicle. The carbon fiber teardrop called eLi14 lapped Audi’s test track for an hour and achieved the equivalent of an astonishing 26,135 miles per gallon (0.009 liters /100 kilometers).
The little three-wheeler uses a carbon fiber monocoque and weighs just 23 kilograms (50.71 pounds). As a vehicle that prioritizes efficiency over speed, the teardrop tops out at just 15.5 miles per hour (25 kilometers per hour). Driver Lisa Kugler managed five laps around the test track during the record-setting run. Because it’s an electric vehicle, a joule meter onboard measured the consumed energy, and the judges did the conversion in comparison to gasoline.
According to Gizmag, the team initially ran eLi14 in the 2014 Shell Eco Marathon. Upgrades to the electric motor and lower rolling resistance wheel bearings made the vehicle even more efficient for this run.
Engineering innovations in motorsport often trickle down to the public, so this carbon fiber teardrop might mean more efficient transportation for everyone someday. The video above provides a better look at eLi14’s constructions an shows some of the record-setting run. While the imagery is fascinating, all the dialogue is in German.