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Friday, July 24, 2009

EV buggy sets respectable time at Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Team Geolandar, sponsored by Yokohama, contested the 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - the best-known hill climb in the world - using an electric vehicle (EV). The event was staged on Sunday, July 19, in Colorado, U.S.A.

The EV racing buggy built in-house by Team Geolandar was driven by Ikuo Hanawa, a strong performer in world-class off-road races. The Buggy has two 6.7 inch diameter brushed DC motors with 13.5KW each (27kw total) powered by a 15 kWh Sanyo Li-ion battery pack.

Running in the exhibition class, the buggy set a time of 14:50.754 finishing 2nd in class. The Electric Vehicle record stands with a time of 14:33.12, set in 2003 by Jeri Unser in an AC Propulsion powered car sponsored by Compact Power, a subsidiary of LG, the same company contracted to supply batteries to General Motors for the Chevy Volt.

Although there are so few EV entities at Pikes Peak there is no official EV class, the EV record was originally set by Honda in 1999 at 15:19.91 using a full bodied 1997 Honda EV PLUS Type R as opposed to the space frame chassis cars used to set the more recent records.

Begun in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb marks its 87th running this year. Racing to the 4,301-meter summit, participants cover a 20-kilometer course beginning at the 2,862-meter level. The race is famous for the severity of its conditions: rapidly changing temperatures and weather, a combination of tarmac and gravel surfaces, and 156 curves. This year, in all classes, more than 200 automobiles and motorcycles competed.

The outright winner was 'Monster' Tajima driving his 873 HP 2.7-liter Twin turbo V6 4WD sport prototype Suzuki SX4 with a time of 10:15.368

Specifications of the EV Racing Buggy
Length: 3,500 mm
Width: 1,800 mm
Height: 1,270 mm
Wheelbase: 2,530 mm
Weight: 750 kg
Motor: Advanced DC L91 -4003 x 2 units
Battery: Sanyo lithium-ion 151, 2V/15,984 Wh
Tires: Geolandar H/T-S(235/65R16)

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