The plug-in aficionados of the Japan Electric Vehicle Club hit the track this weekend in a Daihatsu Mira Van with a 74 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery to see how far they could go on a charge. The last time the crew attempted this, in November 2009, they managed to squeeze out 345 miles before running out juice.

This time out the members reduced some mass with new features likes a carbon fiber seat and even lower rolling resistance tires from Toyo. The van used the same Sanyo battery as the previous record drive and continued rolling for 623 miles before running out of electrons.

Seventeen drivers participated in the 27.5 hour drive with an average speed of just under 25 miles per hour. While getting over 600 miles on a charge is certainly impressive, we aren't likely to see many 74 kWh batteries in production vehicles anytime soon because of the cost. Plus, the driving style on the closed course was likely extremely conservative, which doesn't match real-world conditions. A tip of the hat to Paul!

[Source: Electric Vehicle News]