Sure, efficiency is important ... but speed is fun.
And they did it in a car they built themselves.
That car, the DUT13, did 0 to 100 kph (0 to 62 mph) in 2.15 seconds--obliterating the previous record of 2.68 seconds.
The students even managed to beat the 0-to-60-mph record for a production car: 2.3 seconds set by a 500-horsepower Ariel Atom V-8 in 2010.
It's also more than a second quicker the monstrous, 740-hp Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive.
“We thought that under these conditions we’d be happy with 2.30,” team manager Tim de Moree told Wired. “But we really didn’t expect 2.15.”
The DUT13 is powered by four wheel-mounted electric motors, each producing 25 kilowatts (33 hp).
That makes for a total power output of 100 kW (132 hp). Electric motors' instantly-available torque is perfect for acceleration records.
And the motors had very little weight to push around: The entire car weighs just 320 pounds, thanks to a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque chassis.
The 6.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack contributes only 95 pounds to the total weight.
The team's obsession with saving weight even influenced the choice of driver: 24-year-old Marly Kuijpers was the lightest member of the group of almost two dozen students.