A new Guinness World Record title for the highest altitude achieved in an electric car has been set by Rainer Zietlow and his Challenge4 team using a Volkswagen ID.4 GTX.
On May 18, 2022 Zietlow drove to the top of Bolivia’s Uturuncu volcano, 5,816 meters above sea level, breaking the previous record set in 2020 by about 45 meters of altitude (5,771 m). The team was awarded with the official Guinness World Records certificate in La Paz, Bolivia on May 23.
According to the chronicle, the team is using a Volkswagen ID.4 GTX (all-wheel drive), equipped with an 82 kWh battery (77 kWh usable) and a range of around 340 km (210 miles). To get to Uturuncu in Bolivia, Enel X Way's charging infrastructure installed at various hotels comes in handy. The challenge to reach the top took 4 hours and 20 minutes.
"At 7 a.m., it was time to go. The unsealed track was a real challenge for the production vehicle and its components. But the technology passed this exceptional endurance test: After 4 hours and 20 minutes, Rainer Zietlow reached the end of the mine track with the VW ID.4 GTX and thus is the highest point of the track: 5,816 metres above sea level – documented by two GPS trackers and altimeters."
Rainer Zietlow is not a newbie to EV records, as in 2021, he achieved the title for the longest continuous journey by an electric vehicle in a single country by driving through the US with the Volkswagen ID.4.
Electric cars have many advantages over internal combustion engine cars in the mountains, as they do not suffer a penalty related to the thin air. We already saw how much it helps EVs in mountain races like Pikes Peak, where ICE vehicles are losing power towards the top.
Another thing is that the electric all-wheel-drive system is very capable in off-road areas. After reaching the top, the team can try to go down, regenerating energy rather than braking, which means that they will not even have to recharge much at the bottom.
The expedition would not be possible without sponsors, among which we can see LG Energy Solution, which is a battery cell and module supplier for the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 produced in Europe.
The achievement is celebrated also by Maxion Wheels, the world’s largest wheel manufacturer, which provided lightweight 18-inch steel wheels. The company says that its steel wheels have a comparable weight to aluminum wheels.
More about the Challenge4 team's record-breaking journey can be found at vwid4-highaltitude.com