Porsche set a Guinness World Record for driving from the UP Mine to the Peak of Pike

In just over a day in September, a team from Porsche AG drove their electric Taycan Cross Turismo from the lowest point in America they could drive – Eagle Mine on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – to Pike’s Peak in Colorado.

The flight covered a vertical distance of more than 3 miles, setting a Guinness World Record for largest change in elevation achieved by an electric vehicle. The team traveled more than 1,400 miles between the two points, stopping only for the drivers and the car to charge.

The Eagle Mine, in the wild upper peninsula outside of Marquette, is steadily retreating more than 3,000 feet below the surface. It is the only nickel mine currently operating in the United States that supplies critical minerals to electric car batteries, which the auto industry is pouring money into developing.

Porsche set a Guinness World Record for driving from the UP Mine to the Peak of Pike

“It was fitting that the Porsche Taycan engine was at the bottom of our nickel-copper mine, because both components are essential to electric vehicles,” Darby Stacy, managing director of the mine, said in a statement. “After many risk assessments, safety discussions, and detailed planning, our mining team has been up to the challenge.”

The drivers left Michigan via western UP and crossed six states in EV until they reached Colorado, where they were nearly prevented from going up the mountain due to an impending snowstorm. They raced to the peak and completed the journey in under 34 hours.

JF Musial, a TV and film producer who works on cars-related films and who has been part of the team trying to drive, said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team’s efforts.”

The driving team prepares to depart from Eagle Mine outside of Marquette, Michigan, on its way to Pikes Peak in Colorado.  They drove a Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo electric car.

Matt Johnson, Eagle Mine’s director of external relations, said US company Porsche approached Eagle Mine last summer about a partnership in a record effort. Mine management decided to explore what it would take to bring an electric vehicle underground, compared to heavy trucks that traditionally go down a cobbled descent.

The Taycan Cross Turismo has the ability to raise the vehicle from the driver’s seat to provide more clearance under the vehicle in the event of an obstruction. Johnson said this was a major concern for the mine, as the tires or the underside of the car would be damaged by the sharp rocks lining the track.

“That, frankly, was our biggest risk,” Johnson said.

The Porsche engine team has set a Guinness World Record for largest change in elevation achieved in an electric vehicle, from Eagle Mine in Michigan to Pikes Peak in Colorado.

He said it took several months of planning before the team was ready to start trying. As they drove across the country, the driving team called to give updates. He said finding charging stations was difficult, and they were nearly derailed by the danger of snow at Pike’s Peak.

“All the work we’ve done, the months and months of planning, the successful project out of the mine only to be stopped by a snowstorm at Pike’s Peak?” He said. “If that had happened, no one would have heard of this event.”

rbeggin@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @rbeggin

Leave a Comment