Electric Vehicles Race Ahead at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Electric Vehicles Race Ahead at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb


We’re on top of Pikes Peak. We’re just below
the summit here. We’re at about 12,000 feet. It’s quite an honor to get to sponsor a race
that’s one of the nation’s oldest races. It’s the 91st running year and to be able to be
standing on top sponsoring the electric class is quite an honor and a unique opportunity
for Clean Cities at a national level. We want to stop global warming, so this electric
vehicle race is our campaign. It’s fabulous to be competing here with the
electric vehicle, running in the electric class, and you know, these cars are not too
shabby. It’s the only event in the world where electric
racecars compete with gas-engine racecars at the same race, so it’s absolutely incredible. This is our first time sponsoring this event,
and we sponsored it because of the competitiveness of the electric vehicle class. So we saw it
as a unique opportunity to get electric vehicles highlighted and also supporting the mission
of Clean Cities, which is overall fuel reduction in transportation. The car was conceived as a rolling test bed
for advanced electric power train development and also rapid-charging technology. This allows
us to charge the whole car in just over an hour. That’s an incredible performance benefit
for us as a race team. That’s the sort of technology that in the future will be able
to be used in the production of street cars to enable charging far more quickly than it’s
enabled now. So to see them put under a high-stress situation
racing up the mountain and to see the electric class being as competitive as it is adds a
lot of promise for the future of electric technology. Today, we’re at the 91st running of the Pikes
Peak International Hill Climb. We’ve got about 150 competitors ready to go and try to attack
Pikes Peak. Exciting and pretty frightening at the same
time. Our course is 12.5 miles long, 156 turns.
We see speeds upwards of 140 miles an hour in some sections. We’ve got gas-powered vehicles,
electric-powered vehicles, propane-powered vehicles. It’s a pretty incredible event. It’s not like
anything I’ve ever done. Because of our elevation gain where we start
at 9,000 feet and go up to just over 14,000—so we almost gain a full linear mile—combustion
engine cars lost sometimes up to 40% of their power between the start line and the summit.
An electric vehicle doesn’t have any of that. It’s just as strong at the start line as it
is at the summit. It’s funny to see the electric bikes beating
the gas bikes on the time trials. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb wants to continue
to be on the cutting edge of technology, and the Clean Cities coalition wants to continue
to show that the cutting edge of technology is a viable option and especially in an automotive
industry like we’ve seen in the last few years. So really it is just a perfect marriage. It’s clear from this weekend from the numbers
that are being posted the fastest bike yesterday was an electric bike, and I think it’s a way
of the future. As more R&D and investment gets done, the bikes and the cars are getting
better. Electric technology has come so far, and it
has so much farther to go, and the sky’s the limit.