Motorsports teams the world over are seriously looking at pure electric and hybrid drivetrains as the future of racing, but few teams have been as bold as Drive-eO. Last year their Dakar Rally hybrid truck became the first hybrid to complete the treacherous race, and now the Latvian team is building an all-electric race car for competing in the Pikes Peak hill climb.
By the end of the Dakar Rally, the Drive-eO hybrid rally truck had racked up more than 11,000 miles of some of the roughest and most-grueling driving terrain on the planet. But why stop with one of the most difficult endurance drives on the planet? So Drive-eO is building an all-wheel drive electric race car with 400 kW, or about 540 horsepower on tap in a 950 kg, or about 2,000 pound package. Bam!
When looking at this carbon fiber body, I can’t help but be reminded of Monster Tajima’s ill-fated attempt at conquering Pikes Peak in an electric race car. After lots of anticipation, Monster’s EV puttered out after just a couple of minutes of driving. That gave the win the the Toyota PM002 electric race car, which set a new record for EVs at the Peak.
This year’s Pikes Peak competition should be especially interesting for EV fans, as Toyota will return to defend its crown from the likes EV West, Rod Millen, and privateers searching for fame and glory. With Drive-eO now in the running as well, Pikes Peak 2013 is already shaping up to be an electrifying experience.