An electric vehicle may offer serious competition to conventional racing vehicles in this year's Pikes Peak race. Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima is the current champion and the record holder for the fastest time in the race. For the 2012 race, he hopes to extend his title run and set a new time record with an electric vehicle. Team Monster has not released many details about their vehicle, but it is known that the vehicle will be an EV with a twin motor system and regenerative brakes.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is an ecclectic event, and the race has a number of classes of vehicles, including electric vehicles, that take part every year. Part of the attraction for using an EV is that electric motors are relatively unaffected by the change in altitude (the course rises 4,721 feet (1,439 meters) over its length of 12.42 miles (19.99 km), whereas combustion engines must deal with the change in air pressure and oxygen as they climb higher.
A strict environmentalist perspective might look at any form of motorsport and see it as unnecessary excess. But racing can be a testing platform to develop and improve EV technology. Racing can also serve to make more people aware of electric vehicles and bring them further into mainstream awareness.
written by Ian, April 05, 2012
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