The annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is quickly turning into a Nurburgring equivalent when it comes to bragging rights of electric vehicle makers. The venue is perfect for EVs: The track is 12.42 miles long, as cinch even for the most range-challenged EV. The track finishes at 14,110 ft, a height that deprives ICE-powered cars of oxygen and some 40 percent of their power. An EV just laughs at the breathless engines. I learn all those trivia today in Mitsubishi’s showroom in Tamachi, Tokyo. A descendant on Mitsubishi’s iMiev will be part of the electrified hill climb.
The last year’s winner was the Toyota TMG EV P002. It will defend its title. Across town in Tokyo, Mitsubishi fields its MiEV Evolution II all-electric racer. The sport appears to be one for mature men. Mitsubishi-driver and two-time Dakar Rally overall champion Hiroshi Masuoka is a relative youngster at age 53. Toyota’s driver Rod Millen is 61. Pikes Peak legend Monster Tajima, himself 63, won’t return in an EV, but will arrive with a 670hp hachi-roku.