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How Electric Vehicles Are Hitting The Race Track | Popular Science

At a Colorado course, electric machines are the new performance vehicles.

By Ezra Dyer Posted 10.17.2013 at 9:00 am

Supercharged: Toyota Chip Kalback
Rod Millen flips down the visor on his helmet, inches toward the flagman, and sights down the strip of tarmac that leads to the starting line. The road ahead bends right—the first of 156 turns over the next 12.42 miles—and climbs quickly out of sight. The finish line is the 14,110-foot summit of Colorado’s Pikes Peak, an unforgiving mountain that’s tempted racecar drivers with both glory and disaster for the past 91 years. Millen has won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb nine times, and he set the course record in 1994. His son, Rhys, set another record last year, reaching the summit in a scorching 9 minutes and 46 seconds; Millen thinks he can beat it.

Rod Millen
Race veteran Rod Millen piloted Toyota’s EV. “Right foot on the go pedal, left foot on the brake, no shifting, and no lag in power and torque. You can focus more on what you’re doing,” he says. “On the other hand, the whole car weighs a lot more than a gas car would.”



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