It wasn’t too long ago that old timey men, dressed in coat tails and bowler hats, stood around black and white racing tracks discussing the merits of the horseless sleigh. Then, in 1886, these men nearly had the bowler hats blown off the top of their heads with an outrageous idea: The Electric Car. Never mind the fact that this particular car that was so outraging the traditionalists(horse riders) was a race car. The ur-EV built by the Riker Electric Motor Company slowly completed five laps around a horse racing track in Cranston, RI in 1886. It took 15 minutes for the car to go about five miles.
A lot has changed in the last 115 years since the EV made its racing debut, a point made most strongly by Toyota Motorsport’s P001 (pictured above) when it broke the lap record for EVs at the Nürburgring last week. In the process it became the first electric car to break the eight minute
barrier on the 12.92 mile Nordschleife circuit. Performances like this, while not made of the type of stuff that would traditionally blow a bowler off of a man’s head, do point to a new direction and ambition amongst the EV design studios.
“There’s no doubt that electric motorsport can be every bit as thrilling as traditional racing and it was an amazing sensation to watch the TMG electric vehicle fly past on the Nordschleife, with only the sound of wind rushing past and tyres squealing,” said Rob Leupen of Toyota Motorsport, GmbH (TMG). “But this is not the end of the story for TMG and I hope we will see our electric powertrains in action on the track again soon.”
Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts can view and test drive any current production model Toyota at any Phoenix Valley Toyota dealer. Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should plan on attending the Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show to learn about the most recent concepts and innovations in the way of EV technology from Toyota and the rest of the auto industry, taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend.