Electric Daihatsu Mira goes 623 miles on a charge, but not to a showroom near you

Want an electric vehicle with more than a piddly couple-hundred mile range? Apparently you have to build it yourself and follow in the footsteps of the Japan Electric Vehicle Club, which broke the Guinness World Record last weekend by driving 623.76 miles (just over 1,000km) on a single charge in its customized Daihatsu Mira. The trip took 27.5 hours traveling around what appears to be the famous Tsukuba circuit in Shimotsuma, Japan. The car was powered by 8,320 Sanyo li-ion cells, each weighing about 44 grams, for a grand total of 807lbs -- more than half the weight of a stock Mira. While we're sure Daihatsu helped with this build, it's worth noting that this is not an official project of the company, meaning the 100 mile Nissan Leaf is about as close as you're going to get to this feat for the near future.

[Photo credit: Japan Electric Vehicle Club]

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Mira EV* Powered by SANYO Lithium-ion Battery Systems Breaks Its Guinness World Record
for the Longest Journey without Recharging

New record for a travel distance of 1,003.184 km!
Tokyo, May 24, 2010 - SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO) is pleased to announce that Mira EV powered by SANYO lithium-ion battery systems achieved a travel distance of 1,003.184 km, breaking its own Guinness World Record for the longest journey without recharging.
The trial run was provided by Japan Electric Vehicle Club (Japan EV Club), and implemented at a training school for auto racers in Ibaraki, Japan during May 22 to 23, 2010. The Mira EV has already achieved a 555.6 km run without recharging from Tokyo to Osaka, Japan on November 17, 2009, with this travel distance of 555.6 km having been officially recognized as the Guinness World Record this past April.
The SANYO lithium-ion battery systems employed in the Mira EV were designed by assembling 8,320 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries (18650-type) which are normally used in laptops etc, similar to the configuration used in the April record.
SANYO continues to improve its lithium-ion battery technology as it contributes to realizing a low carbon society.