EV Racers Dominate the 2024 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

romain dumas racing ford lightning supertruck 2024 up pikes peak
Battery-Electrics Rule 2024 Pikes Peak Hill ClimbFord

If interest in electric-powered passenger cars and trucks has begun to wane for everyday consumers, interest is growing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which featured new efforts by Ford and Hyundai and Rivian’s return with an updated 2025 R1T.

EVs retain 100% of their power all the way up to the finish line 14,115 feet above sea level, while internal-combustion engines lose about 50% in the high altitude.

So no one was surprised when Frenchman Romain Dumas’ “1600-plus” horsepower factory 2024 Ford F-150 Lighting SuperTruck covered the 12.42-mile climb in 8 minutes, 53.553 seconds for the fastest time of the day Sunday.


The Lightning SuperTruck, entered by Ford as a factory effort, ran in the Pikes Peak Open class.

But Dumas’ Lightning run on Sunday was 55 seconds slower than the Pikes Peak record set in 2018 by a Volkswagen I.D.R. driven by… Romain Dumas.

The Lightning’s power had shut down for 26 seconds partway through Dumas’ run Sunday before the driver was able to fire up the motors again and complete the run. A Ford spokesman speculates the truck might have done an 8:27 otherwise.

romain dumas behind wheel of ford lightning supertruck on sunday
Romain Dumas in Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck on Sunday.Ford

That would still be a half-minute longer than Dumas’ run six years ago in the Vee-Dub EV, when his blistering 7:57.148—the only sub-8-minute run ever—beat Hill Climb record-holder Sebastian Loeb’s 2013 run in an 875-hp ICE Peugeot by a full 16 seconds.

Internal combustion took second place up the mountain Sunday in the form of Italian driver Christian Merti’s 9:04.454 run in a 2024 Wolf Aurobay GB08 2.0 HP, from the Unlimited class.

Hyundai returned to Pikes Peak this year with four 2025 Ioniq 5 N EVs—two of them 641-hp box-stock factory efforts and the other two Ioniq 5 N TA (Time Attack) Spec cars tuned to 677 hp and campaigned by Bryan Herta Autosport.

One of the N TAs, driven by Spanish WRC superstar and Pikes Peak rookie Dani Sordo, finished third overall with a time of 9 minutes, 31 seconds. The other stock N to make the run, driven by fan-favorite Randy Pobst, cracked the 10-minute barrier at 9:55.551.

That time is all the more impressive because Pobst was signed late to replace driver Robin Shute, who pulled out of Hyundai’s first-ever EV effort at Pikes Peak very late in the game.

There was a third Ioniq 5 N, but it went off course during practice earlier in the week at the hands of Paul Dallenbach, who suffered a broken leg from the crash.

Ron Zaras raced the other Bryan Herta Ioniq 5 N TA to 26th with a time of 10:49.267, just ahead of Indianapolis 500 driver Katherine Legge’s 2024 Acura Integra Time Attack 1 car, with a 10:51.359.

Legge’s 27th-place finish was followed by a dedicated EV bread, as Gardner Nichols took 28th with a factory 2025 Rivian R1T clocking in at 10:53.883. The ’25-model stock R1T makes 1025 hp at the four wheels, up from 825 hp in last year’s model.

Nichols told Autoweek in an audio text message the new Rivian has much better thermal management from new drive units and a new battery cooling technology.

dani sorto holding checkered flag while sitting on hyundai ioniq 5 n ta at pikespeakinternationalhillclimb
Dani Sorto placed third in all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 N TA.Hyundai

“I’m super stoked to break 11 minutes and get the new production (truck) record,” Nichols said. “Overall, the road was slippery. I was the second one off the line and it was a dusty road, but I was able to maximize the truck, so couldn’t be happier.”

Successful early EV runs pointed to a future of electric-motor domination at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. After the first eight or 10 runs, mechanical failures and a few accidents—all by ICE racers—bogged down the proceedings.

Gaps between starts were noticeably long and many racecars were allowed to drive downhill for second attempts at the starting line. A Hyundai spokesman said this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was about two hours longer than last year’s.

At the end of the day, 48 cars finished while 12 did not. The Hill Climb ended when the last driver to start, former Road & Track art director Jeff Zwart, had an unfortunate off just past the start line in his naturally aspirated 1997 Porsche GT2, probably the result of launching on cold tires.

A few runs prior, one car held up the last couple of drivers when it spilled gear fluid on Pikes Peak’s tarmac.

While EV racecars have issues of their own—including overheating batteries and the need for a recharge in the case of a second run—they don’t have such fluids to spill.

It seems clear after ‘24’s Hill Climb that Pikes Peak could be the best venue to develop zero-emissions racing.

Do you think EV racecars will continue dominating Pikes Peak, or will ICE entries come roaring back? Please comment below.