While Tesla seems to be doing everything in its power to push the electric vehicle market to new levels, there is a growing suspicion that Mitsubishi could be one of the major challengers for the young upstart. This will surprise many people, especially when you bear in mind that Tesla grabs the headlines, has a charismatic CEO and appears to be heading towards the EV mass market as opposed to the niche in which it began its life. So, why would you even consider Mitsubishi as a leading contender in the future? It has been revealed that Mitsubishi will enter its Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution vehicle in the world-famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the U.S.. This is the oldest motorsport event in the US aside from the Indianapolis 500 and while it may seem a strange area in which to push the boundaries of the electric vehicle market, there is more to this than meets the eye.
Pushing EVs to the limit
If we tell you that the course in question is just 12.42 miles you might wonder about the benefits? However, if we then tell you that there are 156 corners and an elevation change of over 4700 feet you might begin to get the picture. The challenges regarding temperature, air pressure and weather are extreme and will push vehicles to the edge of their existence.
It is worth noting that Mitsubishi already has a major presence in the electric vehicle market through its award-winning Mitsubishi i-MiEV and its offshoots. This has not stopped the company from looking to push further ahead, catching the headlines, and also using the competitive sporting arena as the perfect testing ground for its vehicles. When you bear in mind the developments which have occurred due to testing in sports such as Formula One, it is not difficult to understand where the company is coming from.
Could Mitsubishi really challenge Tesla?
There is no doubt that Tesla has a habit of grabbing the headlines, appears to play the PR game to perfection and has the technology. However Mitsubishi has not been as vocal with regards to press releases and other publicity stunts but the company has been amassing an interesting and valuable stable of technologies. It may take some time to see any developments from the sporting arena arrive in the mass market sector but the idea is that by testing new ideas, new theories, and new technologies, this will ultimately benefit the electronic vehicle sector of the future.
In many ways Tesla has had an open field with regards to technology over the last few years because the major car manufacturing dinosaurs are moving slowly, not convincing in their belief of the electric vehicle market, and so far Tesla has crushed all before them. It will be interesting to see how the arrival of Mitsubishi impacts Tesla although when you bear in mind the company's recent announcement about making patent use free to competing companies, perhaps these two could work together for the better of the industry?