A new Guinness High Altitude World Record is set! In a Volkswagen ID.4 GTX, Rainer Zietlow raised the record for all-electric standard cars to 5,816 m above sea level.
It all began with the start in Santiago de Chile. On April 21, 2022, world record holder and owner of CHALLENGE4 GmbH, Rainer Zietlow, and his team left Santiago de Chile. With a standard Volkswagen ID.4 GTX and a Volkswagen Amarok from GAMMA as a support vehicle, the team drove via Argentina to Bolivia. After one week, they reached the base camp village Quetena Chico near the Uturuncu volcano.
The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX has a 77kWh (net) battery capacity, which means a range of around 340 kilometers (210 miles). On its way to the Uturuncu, the team could rely on ENEL X Way’s charging infrastructure. In 2020, the project’s energy partner ENEL X Way set up wall boxes at various hotels every 300 km along the route for the electric motorbike project “The Long Way Up” by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.
After Covid Pandemic, the Quetena Chico community was in the process of restoring their former mining track to the two Uturuncu peaks. The track was used until 1996 by a mining company that mined sulphur at an altitude of over 5,800 meters. After that, it was used solely for mountain tourism. Since tourists were absent during the pandemic, the track became increasingly dilapidated and was only passable up to around 5,000 meters.
Rainer Zietlow was now the first to be allowed to use the restored road up to the old mining area.
On May 18, 2022, all preparations were finally completed, and the weather was favorable. 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 meters above sea level – documented by two GPS trackers and altimeters.
“Our goal was to show that electric mobility is capable of high performance even at extreme altitudes,” says Rainer Zietlow. “Electrical drive even has an advantage at such altitudes because it does not rely on oxygen from the air.”
“I thank the whole team, Pedro our Chilean cameraman, Alvaro our Chilean photographer and Cristian our Chilean mountain guide who have been together with me the last four weeks on this record project.”
As a guest at the German Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, Rainer Zietlow received the official Guinness World Records™ certificate by a Guinness World Records representative in the attendance of the German Ambassador, Mr. Stefan Duppel, on May 23, 2022.
As it has been customary since the founding of CHALLENGE4 GmbH in 2005, Rainer Zietlow is supporting the aid organization SOS Children’s Village with a donation after his world record drives – this time the SOS Children Village in La Paz.