Ikuo Hanawa’s 2010 Pikes peak climb time of 13:17:575 beats the old 7 year old record by Jeri Unser, setting a new record for EV in the 88th running of Pikes peak.
The Colorado springs race course starts at 9,390 and ends at 14,110 ft which highlights one of the advantages of EV – no loss of power at altitude. Loss of power at altitude due to thin air is a well known problem for naturally aspirated engines. So far, the VW Touareg hybrid, Porsche Cayenne hybrid, and Porsche Panamera hybrid will all use the supercharged 3.0L V6 engine. Supercharging and turbocharging can reduce the amount of power loss by turbo normalizing the air pressure – compressing air to restore air density. However, because most cars are engineered for best driveability at sea level or close to sea level, they simply aren’t designed to give sea level air pressure to the engine at altitude.
Hanawa’s EV Sports Concept Vehicle HER-02 makes 268 hp from a 15 kilowatt hour Sanyo lithium ion battery pack. This race was chosen because of the short endurance and the car performed admirably. To put it in perspective, the all time record for any car is 10:01:408. Congrats to Hanawa on the record and it just goes to show what kind of performance is possible with an EV.
Below is a video of one of the starts and another where you can hear the silence of performance.