Known for saving fuel and low emissions, electric racing cars are quietly giving their petrol-powered rivals a run for their money.
RMIT's electric racer took first place in the electric vehicle category at the Formula SAE.
Diehard racing enthusiasts, however, are yet to be convinced they can pack as much punch.
RMIT University's Electric Racing team is working hard to reverse the electric racer's reputation as slow, heavy and less sexy than its Formula 1 rival.
A first placing at the Formula SAE-A competition - where they were up against the best and brightest student engineers from 23 university teams from the Asia Pacific region - is doing just that.
Looking suspiciously similar to their gas-guzzling F1 counterparts, RMIT's electric-powered Formula SAE racer took out first place in the electric vehicle category, finishing ahead of the university's petrol team for the first time.
The team finished 10th overall, giving them the title of the top electrical team in the contest.
Michael Butler, an electric racing team leader and Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) (Honours)/Bachelor of Business (Management) student, said it was the best ever result for an electric entry in the event and the highest the RMIT electric-racing team has placed.
"It is also the highest place an electric car has come in the Australasia competition, so we are the first electric team to finish in the Top 10 overall," he said.
"This type of success was unprecedented for our team and for electric cars.
"We hope that we will no longer be seen as the little sibling of our petrol friends at RMIT."
It has been a slow rise to the top for this driven group of student-engineers since RMIT Electric first entered the FSAE competition in 2008.
Back then it the first in the world to develop an electric car for this competition.
Powering ahead: The RMIT electric racer in action.
"Since then international teams have far surpassed us and are far more successful than our team,'' Mr Butler said.
"Our team's success is limited to the Australasia Competition, where our 2013 success was unprecedented for Australian Electric Teams."
The racing team consists of students from most engineering disciplines including aerospace, automotive, mechanical, electrical, as well as manufacturing, business, IT and arts.
Each year, a new team starts with a clean slate.
Students design, manufacture and assemble an electric car, on a limited budget, before tackling the racing circuit.
Mr Butler said the team was already working on a new design for 2014 which they hope will improve on recent results.
The Formula SAE experience is invaluable to the group of student engineers as they prepare to enter the fiercely competitive industry, he said.
"While many of the team members have aspirations a long way removed from the automotive industry, the electric-racing experience still provides skills that are relevant across a broad range of professions," he said.
The governing body for global motorsports, the FIA, is set to launch their Formula E Racing (FER) series this year with 10 street circuit races scheduled around the world.
Cars will be powered by 200-kilowatt electric engines that can do 0-100 km/h in three seconds.
Addressing the FIA recently, Formula E series CEO Alejandro Agag said he wanted the series to evolve into the "framework for research and development around the electric car."
Mr Agag has stressed the series will be about "making sustainability sexy" - a line taken up by the RMIT team as they work on this year's version.
"We have learnt so much from 2013," Mr Butler said.
"We hope to bring that experience into a more ambitious build and result for the 2014 competition."