They're not off to a great start at the annual Race to the Clouds.
On paper, battery-electric vehicles seem like the perfect weapon to wield against one of the oldest forms of motorsport known to man: hillclimbing. Internal combustion engines lose power as they gain altitude, due to the lower atmospheric pressures, but that's a problem that EVs are completely immune to; they make exactly the same amount of power at the summit of the mountain as they do at the base. The drive is, accordingly, more predictable.
Be that as it may, things are going dreadfully for the trio of Tesla Model 3 hill climb cars that were entered into the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Two of the three have crashed out already during practice, leaving just a single car to represent the world's premier EV manufacturer in the annual Race to the Clouds.
The first to go off was Josh Allen - an ace driver who helped make the Model 3 famous by using his performance-prepped example to set new track records at TeslaCorsa. According to The Drive, his car sailed off the track at high speed, possibly at the infamous "Engineer's Corner," which has claimed countless hill climb cars over the years. He apparently crossed through a ditch on the outside of the corner and flew into the trees, but thankfully, his car didn't collide with any of them.
The second Tesla Model 3 to crash at Pikes Peak was driven by none other than Randy Pobst - pro driver and frequent regular lap record-setter across America. Shortly before the crash, the car, which was sponsored by Unplugged Performance, nabbed first in qualifying and outpaced the next-fastest car by a full 26 seconds.
According to a tweet, Pobst even called it the best car he'd driven at the event in all of the six times he's raced there.
Pobst reportedly spun off after hitting a bump in the pavement, bending a wheel, ripping off the rear bumper, and "pulling out" the suspension, according to The Drive. Oops.
With that, the Tesla Model 3's hopes rest on the shoulders of inventor Blake Fuller, Founder and CEO of battery technology firm Go Puck, who set a new Production Electric course record at Pikes Peak with his 2016 drive in a modified Tesla Model S P90DL. We'd say the last remaining Model 3 is in good hands.