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. Earlier this 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.
I’m not sure when it happened or why, but the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has become a magnet for alternative fuel race cars, especially electric vehicles. Last year the Toyota P002 electric race car set a new class record for EVs, and was just 30 seconds behind the all-time record set by Rhys Millen. Well Toyota is returning for 2013 with a refreshed race car to finish the job.
If you’re going to race, you may as well race with the best. Electric motorcycle company Amarok is entering Pikes Peak, the uber-challenging hill climb, for the first time. To help them get the best possible run up the hill, they’ve enlisted 6 time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Champion Greg Tracy. The Canadian builder is running Agni motors, a controversial choice. This video discusses the development of the project.
There is one event that us green gearheads get more excited for than any other, and that is the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This uphill racing event has a long and thrilling history. More importantly though, it has become a hotbed of green racing technology, with electric vehicles proving especially popular. This year, Rod Millen and “Monster” Tajima will be facing off in two custom EV racers to see who can race to the top of the mountain in the least amount of time.
Pikes Peak has always attracted adventurers, whether they be mountain climbers or race car drivers. Ten years ago, Elias Anderson and Anthony Applewhite floated the idea of building a Pikes Peak electric race car. Such a vehicle takes time and money, and it wasn’t until this year that they brought their concept to life. It was a made scramble to build a complete electric race car in just a few months, but they brought the HCE Lightning to the Peak, beating out professional race outfits and conversion shops on their way to a 3rd place finish in the EV class.
One of my favorite EV conversion shops to follow has been EV West…mostly because they took a BMW, gutted it, and turned it into an electric race car. Their car competed, and performed well, in the annual Pikes Peak hillclimb, and while the race has been over for weeks, EV West JUST released this 12-minute video of electric performance car awesomesauce for our mutual enjoyment.
Pikes Peak racing legend Monster Tajima didn’t have any luck at this year’s contest, his all-electric hillclimber breaking down after only about a mile. Yet that has not deterred the 62-year old rally driver from his love of electric vehicles. Tesla Motors recently put him behind the wheel of its Model S sedan, and octogenarian loved every minute of it.
The 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has come to an end. Records have been broken, and EVs turned in an electrifying performance. Among the contenders “Monster” Tajima, a 62-year old Japanese racer who sought to conquer the Peak in his custom made electric race car, and now we have video from one of his practice runs.
The results are in, and as expected, records have fallen at the delayed 2012 Pikes Pike Race to the Clouds. All eyes were on the many electric competitors racing on the newly-paved road to the summit, but after the metaphorical dust settled, only one EV was able to come out on top.
That would be Toyota’s P002 electric race car driven by Fumio Nutahara with a time of 10:15.380, a new record for electric cars. But what about all the other EV’s?