- Outlander PHEV becomes the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle ever to complete the rugged 10-day, 2,000 km off-highway navigational event
- Nonprofit-based team of U.S. Army combat veterans Rachael Ridenour and Kristie Levy maintain tradition of “Small Batch – Big Impact” CSR initiative
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) and Team Record the Journey (RTJ) made history for the second year in a row at the 2020 Rebelle Rally. After powering the event’s first adaptive athlete to second place in 2019, MMNA and RTJ this year combined to claim another podium finish, this time in the Rebelle’s first ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle entry, a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. With 1034 points 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV stood third at Rebelle Rally X-Cross Class after Ford Bronco (1st) and Kia Telluride (2nd).
RTJ founder and navigator Sergeant Major Rachael Ridenour (Ret.) was joined by teammate and driver, Master Sergeant Kristie Levy (Ret.) – both U.S. Army veterans with multiple combat deployments – to compete in this year’s Rebelle. Their Outlander PHEV, affectionately nicknamed “Electra,” was put through her paces over 10 grueling days and more than 2,000 kilometers across the Nevada and California deserts, accumulating 1,034 points in the X-Cross class of the all-women’s navigational challenge.
“Electra served faithfully and reliably, impressing us with her versatility, capability and grit, not to mention her ability to travel on smooth, quiet electric power,” said Ridenour, a multi-time Rebelle and past event winner. “Just completing the Rebelle is an accomplishment, and doing it in an electrified vehicle was a bit of an experiment, but the Outlander PHEV proved more than up to the task. She was a reliable partner in extreme circumstances – and being able to make coffee using the 110-volt outlet in the back was a luxurious taste of civilization in the middle of the desert.”
The Rebelle Rally is the first all-women’s off-highway navigational rally raid in the U.S. and the longest competition of its kind in the lower 48 states. For the first time, in 2020, event organizer Emily Miller opened the competition to electric vehicles, adding an Electrified designation to both the 4×4 class and X-Cross, to honor the highest finishing Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Hybrid or Plug-in-hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in each class.
“We’ve had two very successful years of partnership between Mitsubishi Motors and Record the Journey at the Rebelle Rally, and we couldn’t be more proud of the outcome,” said MMNA Chief Operating Officer Mark Chaffin. “Together, we’ve tested the capability of our vehicles and raised awareness of the life-changing work that RTJ does every day. It is a true honor to help promote and support our returning servicewomen and men.”
“This year’s Rebelle was filled with an inspiring crew of fierce, independent women who continue to amaze us with their strength, fortitude and endurance to complete one of the toughest rally raids in the world,” said Miller, Founder of the Rebelle Rally. “We are so happy for Team Record the Journey and their Outlander PHEV for earning a podium finish in the first year of electrified competition, and look forward to another amazing performance in 2021.”
RTJ is dedicated to assisting military veterans with a successful transition back into civilian life. The nonprofit utilizes outdoor photography adventures to help veterans process their military experiences, including combat, injury and loss. Photography allows expression and engagement without words, making an often difficult process a little easier. RTJ was the first nonprofit to receive a loan of a Community Utility Vehicle through MMNA’s “Small Batch – Big Impact” corporate social responsibility initiative.
Additional partners supporting Team Record the Journey for 2020 include Ally Financial, BFGoodrich Tires, DMOS Shovels, Off-Road Like a Girl, Productive Flourishing, Road Race Engineering and Vision Wheel.