Volkswagen electric car powered by sweeteners smashes hill climbing record at Pikes Peak

Volkswagen has shown off the sporty side of its electric technology by setting an all-time record in the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado.

Former Le Mans winner Romain Dumas took the I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype up in a time of seven minutes 57.148 seconds on the 19.9 km mountain road on Sunday.

That was 16 seconds quicker than the 2013 record set by fellow-Frenchman Sebastien Loeb in a 3.2 litre V6 engined Peugeot 208.

The radical car was fuelled by glycerol, a sugar alcohol often used as a sweetener in food. 

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Former Le Mans winner Romain Dumas took the I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype up in a time of seven minutes 57.148 seconds on the 19.9 km mountain road on Sunday.

Former Le Mans winner Romain Dumas took the I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype up in a time of seven minutes 57.148 seconds on the 19.9 km mountain road on Sunday.

The event, nicknamed the ‘Race to the Clouds’, has been running since 1916.

Volkswagen used the event to showcase technology that it will incorporate in a series of battery-powered models including the I.D. range.

‘The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the sporty forerunner of Volkswagen´s I.D. family. 

‘Today, we saw what this technology is capable of,’ said Volkswagen board member Frank Welsch in a statement.

‘The team has managed to create a fantastic racing car in just eight months. 

‘The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak has now set the fastest time in the history of this hill climb, which spans more than 100 years. 

WHAT DID THE CAR RUN ON? 

Volkswagen also struck out in a new direction when it came to charging technology – the goal being to charge the car as quickly as possible with minimum environmental impact. 

The time was defined by the regulations: In case of the race being suspended, it must be possible to completely charge the car in under 20 minutes. 

The electricity required was provided by generators at the foot of Pikes Peak.

Glycerol, which in chemical terms is a sugar alcohol, was selected as the fuel.

A by-product of the manufacture of biodiesel, for example, Glycerol combusts with virtually no harmful exhaust fumes or residues. 

Glycerol itself is non-toxic and is even permitted as an additive in the food and cosmetics industries. 

It is often used as a sweetener. 

‘That speaks volumes for electric mobility.’

The streamlined car produces 500kw and weighs less than 1,100 kg. 

France's Romain Dumas celebrates after becoming the first to break the eight-minute mark in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunday, June 24, 2018.

France’s Romain Dumas celebrates after becoming the first to break the eight-minute mark in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Volkswagen said it was the most innovative and complex car ever developed by its motorsport division.

Dumas said it was the most impressive he had driven in competition.

Volkswagen said it was the most innovative and complex car ever developed by its motorsport division.

Volkswagen said it was the most innovative and complex car ever developed by its motorsport division.

Volkswagen used the event to showcase technology that it will incorporate in a series of battery-powered models including the I.D. range.

Volkswagen used the event to showcase technology that it will incorporate in a series of battery-powered models including the I.D. range.

The German carmaker is spending billions on electric vehicles as it seeks to rebuild its reputation after a diesel emissions test cheating scandal.

VW has a goal to sell three million electric cars per year across the group by 2025 and to offer an electric version of each of the group’s 300 models by 2030. 

Nino Plevnik

I am an electric cars lover. I love our planet and want to leave it in good condition to our children. One of the good ways to do this is to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere. As a technical person I worked on computers, hardware maintenance and programming. Otherwise I like advanced technologies, music, books, movies, life and nice weather.

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