Electric Cars

Electric Car Sets Race Record

By Michael W. Kahn | ECT Staff Writer Published: August 16th, 2012

An electric car set a new record at the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Beccy Gordon with the street-legal all-electric Mitsubishi iMiEV she drove up Pikes Peak. (Photo By: Mitsubishi)

Beccy Gordon with the street-legal all-electric Mitsubishi iMiEV she drove up Pikes Peak. (Photo By: Mitsubishi)

The annual race sends cars up to the 14,110-foot summit of the mountain in Colorado Springs, Colo., on a 12.42 mile course.

Toyota Motorsports’ TMG EV P002 went the distance in 10 minutes, 15.38 seconds, the fastest time ever for an electric car in the race. It shattered the previous record by more than two minutes.

With a top speed of 149 mph, the electric Toyota finished sixth overall, about 29 seconds behind the race winner.

It was one of several electric cars competing in the Pikes Peak race, which dates back to 1916. This year it was held Aug. 12, having been delayed a month by July’s Colorado wildfires.

The runner-up electric car was a Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution, which finished in eighth place overall, with a time of 10 minutes, 30.85 seconds. It was an especially impressive showing considering that during a practice run just four days earlier, the driver misjudged a braking point on one of the 156 turns and crashed. The driver was unhurt, but the car had extensive front end damage, which the race team managed to repair.

One of the more unusual electric cars in the race was another Mitsubishi—an iMiEV that closely resembled what would be found in a showroom. In fact, the automaker said it was the lone street-legal electric car in the race; the only modifications were those required under race rules. That car finished in 126th place with a time of 15 minutes, 10.557 seconds.

“It produced a lot more power—especially torque—than I had expected,” said driver Beccy Gordon. “The handling was also very good because so much of the car’s weight—the electric motor and lithium-ion batteries—sit so low in the chassis. This allowed me to carry much more speed into the corners than I expected, and the torque from the electric motor helps to propel the car out of the corners.”

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