Watch Rhys Millen Set a New Electric Car Record at Pikes Peak
You don’t even need to put on headphones.
Last month, professional race car driver and motorsports master Rhys Millen set a record for the fastest electric car up Pikes Peak at the 100th running of the historic hill climb event last month, blasting his EV up the course in eight minutes and 57 seconds—and marking the first time an electric vehicle has ever broken the nine-minute barrier at the fabled event.
Technically speaking, it took him Millen's official time in the PP100 was 8:57.118. Not only did that run nail him the electric record, but it also gave him second place overall at the 2016 event. Millen's time was just short of the 8:51.445 first place time set by Romain Dumas, who was driving a custom-made four-wheel-drive Norma M20 RD time attack car equipped with a Honda engine. Millen's time also put him almost three minutes ahead of Blake Fuller, whose modified Tesla Model S won the Electric Production division with an 11:48.264 time
Millen, who has raced professionally in Global RallyCross and Formula Drift in addition to his prior runs at the Pikes Peak hill, set the record in a 2016 Drive eO PP100 electric car. For those who are unfamiliar (which we're guessing is plenty of you, since we had to look it up), all you really need to know is that Millen's car mates a 50-kWh lithium-ion battery to seven electric motors. All told, it makes almost 1,600 horsepower 1,858 pound-feet of torque. So, yeah, enough to move it up some hill.
While the lack of an internal-combustion engine meant Millen's record run was a bit more quiet than you might expect, it was every bit as clean and aggressive as it needed to be. All of that electric torque launched the electric racer up the hill with verve right at the get-go, and the car never lost its momentum from there. Miller kept his racing lines were smooth, flowing in and out of the slightly banked upward corners all the way to the top—even when the car reached the parts of the course where it looks like it's about to driving directly into the sky.