Two Mitsubishi i electric vehicles were "raced" at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week by professional race car drivers Roger Yasukawa and Johnny Miller. The contest? To test how quickly the EVs could be recharged with Level 3 quick-charge stations make by Contour Hardening.

Yakusawa and Miller reached top speeds of about 56 miles per hour in the i EVs as part of the exhibition, which was filmed and available to you after the jump. The drivers "completed" the so-called EV500 in about 12 hours, Road & Track reported.

Contour Hardening organized the event to get a better idea of how quickly driving range could be added to the EVs with short charge cycles using higher-powered EV charging stations.

In late November, Mitsubishi started selling the i – known as the i-MiEV overseas – on the West Coast and in Hawaii, and will expand sales nationwide in mid-2012. The car, which is priced in North America at about $6,000 less than the $35,200 Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle, offers an EPA-rated single-charge range of about 62 miles, or 11 miles fewer than the Leaf's. Mitsubishi has sold about 16,000 i-MiEVs since debuting the model in Japan in July 2009.

In November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy named the i the most fuel-efficient vehicle sold in the United States. The federal agencies' latest edition of their Fuel Economy Guide rates the i at 112 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent. The Leaf came in second at 99 MPGe.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      There really should be an EV50 before the Indy 500. Any electric car can compete, and we will see aerodynamic and efficient cars that have power.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting. I assume they were using one of the new "i" vehicles that has the Toshiba quick charging batteries? DaveMart...I would have thought you'd have been all over the idea that the SCiB batteries made this possible! Silly as this sounds, it's actually going to be very useful "race" over time. It takes about 7 hours and 15 minutes to go that far in an ICE vehicle on the American Highway...assuming you obeyed speed limits. :-) If the next generation i, or any other EV does this race in about 7-8 hours then we can start arguing with people who throw out EV range as their main inhibitor. This race is a great forum for EVs. Sure, it looks silly now, but how would a cross country plane race have looked in 1910? In five years, this will be very different looking and will actually be a race. Of course, you could do that in a Tesla now, but I don't count that as most people aren't going to drop $100K+ on a car.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        "knacker" LOL I love working with you brits, you guys have all the cool colloquialisms. But if you really don't care about knackering the batteries, then I might go with the A123's because they can handle 20kW/kg charge/discharge rates long enough to make it through a Formula 1 race as the basis for their KERS systems!!! It would be interesting to compare them with say the new Panasonic cells that Tesla is using for the Model S which have ~260Wh/kg but I don't believe they could handle anywhere near the power rate of the Li Phosphate batteries...but I can't find any info on that yet.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Ahhhh, that is a shame. It would be nice to see them using the SCiB pack and getting some publicity around how fast you can recharge them.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Well, you can recharge most batteries pretty fast if you don't care how quickly you knacker them, so for endurance racing they will probably go with whatever is the highest energy density. NMC batteries should be about best at the moment. I reckon they could turn in pretty good times (for electric) on the Indy with maybe a 100kwh pack.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Hi Dave. Cars in North America use the GS Yuasa 16kwh pack, not the Toshiba which is only being used in 10.5kwh packs in Japan at the moment. If it had been the Toshiba and you had the power to do it then you could fact charge most of the way in 5 minutes, not the 15-20 minutes they were using here!
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Out of curiosity, I checked to see how times changed over the first 5 years of the Indy 500. There were no times for the first 2 years as they apparently just working the kinks out :-) In 1911 they did the 500 miles in 6:42 and in 1916 it was 3:34 so they almost cut it in half in the first 5 years. That first race in 1911 averaged 74.62mph. Of course these were actual purpose built race cars where the Mitsubishi i is just essentially a city commuter car. It will be interesting to see the first purpose built EV racer go for 500 miles.
        Tysto
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Ah ah ah. You can get the Roadster's 240 mile range in the mid-level Model S for $67,000 AND get more space, comfort, and luxury. And it's getting better every year....
      fairfireman21
      • 3 Years Ago
      WOOPTY DOO!!! Still not impressed at all.
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      Must have been reviting to watch.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Perhaps a spelling bee would be more entertaining, or at any rate instructive.....;-)