2012 Mitsubishi i Takes On Indy 500 To Prove Itself (Video)

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Think of the 500-mile iconic race that is the Indy 500, and you probably think of highly-tuned, high horsepower single-seat race cars battling it out for first place what some call The Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

But back in October, five-times Indy 500 competitor Roger Yasakawa took to the internationally-known track in a 2012 Mitsubishi i to prove that the $29,125 electric car could cover the 500 mile course with help from a portable direct current rapid charging station.  

Yesterday, the first video of the event was uploaded to Video sharing site YouTube.

Designed as a publicity stunt rather than a true race, Yasakawa’s Mitsubishi i raced alongside another 2012 Mitsubishi i in what Contour Hardening -- the company which arranged the event to highlight its portable Real Power Mobile Quick Charge Station  -- termed the inaugural EV500. 

Traveling at speeds of around 50-60 mph, the two Mitsubishi i completed the 500 mile course in around 12 hours, pitting when needed to charge from the truck-mounted portable rapid charger.

Mitsubishi i takes on Indy 500

Mitsubishi i takes on Indy 500

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Taking around 20 minutes to recharge to 80 percent full, each car alternated time in the pits charging with time on the track.

During the race, the teams discovered that heavy rain reduced range of each Mitsubishi i by around 15 percent, reducing total range and requiring more frequent recharging. 

The teams also experimented with partial recharging, choosing to rapidly recharge the cars to 50 percent rather than 80 in order to see if it could reduce time spent in the pits. 

As well as prove the technology behind the portable rapid charging station, the race also highlighted what Mitsubishi have been telling us: that you can use rapid recharging stations as many times as you want without affecting the 2012 Mitsubishi i’s battery pack. 

While it may have been a publicity stunt the race has got us thinking. Is this the future for the Indianapolis 500? 

Let us know in the Comments below. 

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