Turns out, students are pretty great at building cars. Last month, engineering students from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia set a new world record for the fastest electric vehicle over a distance of 500 kilometres, and now students in Switzerland have broken the world acceleration record using their super-speedy electric race car called 'Grimsel'.

The team, from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and ETH Zurich, managed to build an electric vehicle that can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 1.785 seconds in the space of 30 metres. 

According to Science Daily, the previous record was 2.134 seconds, set by an electric car built by engineers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.  

Built in less than 12 months, the Grimsel electric car weighs just 168 kg and can generate a total torque - the amount of rotational force generated by the engine - of 1630 Nm (Newton metres), which is controlled at each individual wheel for maximised acceleration. 

The record was set at a military airfield in Dübendorf ad part of the recent Formula Student international competition at a military airfield in Dübendorf. With more than 500 teams participating, it's the largest competition in the world for engineers.

Watch the record-breaking moment from the front seat of the car below:

Interested in building your own race car? We hosted a Google Hangout with mechanical engineering students from the University of Waikato, who told us what it takes. Check it out.

Source: ScienceDaily