Car Culture

Watch Rhys Millen set a new EV record at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Who says electric cars can't be exciting?

JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event is not for the faint of heart. More than 100 turns separate the driver at the bottom from the finish line up top, and without guardrails or other safety systems in place, it's even harrowing to watch. That's why Rhys Millen deserves more than a trophy for his record-setting run up the mountain.

Strapped behind the wheel of his purpose-built electric vehicle, Millen made it to the summit in 8:57.118. It's the only EV to break the 9-minute mark, and it earned Millen top honors in his class. It was fast enough to claim second place overall, falling short of taking it all by about 6 seconds. Romain Dumas won overall with his Unlimited-class Norma M20 RD Limited.

Most Pikes Peak videos are cacophonic, with screaming exhaust notes blending with tire wail, wastegate flutter and gearbox whine. EVs don't have an exhaust note, so the video is oddly quiet, with the whine of the electric motors and not much else. It's weird, in a sense, but you may as well get used to it.

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