SANYO Electric Co. and Yokohama Rubber Co. have teamed up to enter an all-electric racecar into the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The hill-climbing race will be held in Colorado (USA) on June 26.
The collaboration between SANYO and Yokohama Rubber has been ongoing since 2009. Yokohama Rubber uses the race as an opportunity to test electric vehicle tires in some of the most challenging conditions, and has utilized SANYO batteries each year.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is, “the best-known hill climb race in the world,” according to a statement released by SANYO North America. “[The race] is held every year at the 14,110-foot (4,301-meter) "Pikes Peak" mountain in Colorado. This year's event will mark the 89th hill climb. The race is known for the severity of its conditions, which includes rapidly changing temperatures and weather. Participants race over a 20-kilometer course, beginning at the 9,390-feet (2,862-meter) level to finish at the 14,110-foot (4,301-meter) summit.”
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The EV racecar uses 6,656 of SANYO’S 18650-size cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, which are typically used for small electronics such as laptop computers. However, since they are readily available and reliable, they are ideal for the application at hand.
Yokohama Rubber plans to use its prototype “BluEarth” tire in the race this year to test it for future commercial use.
This is a unique collaboration to say the least, and a smart way to put prototype technology to the test—in a high-profile international motor race. Last year the team achieved an all-time record time for an electric vehicle operating under such conditions.