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Electric buggy to challenge Pikes Peak

Yokohama-sponsored electric car will compete in 2010 Pikes Peak race.

EV Sports Concept HER-02 buggy
This new Yokohama-sponsored electric car will look for a new record up Pikes Peak. Yokohama

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is a grueling test for any car, but on June 27 a purpose-built electric car will take the challenge, competing in the Exhibition Division. The car, dubbed the EV Sports Concept HER-02 buggy, uses a motor from AC Propulsion, batteries from Sanyo, and Yokohama's Advan ENV-R2 orange oil tires.

Last year, the predecessor to this electric buggy raced up the 12.5-mile course, which rises 4,721 feet through 156 turns. Piloted by Ikuo Hanawa of Team Geolander, it set a time of 14:50.754 (respectable, as the fastest time for any vehicle up the mountain is 10:01.408). The Team Geolander electric car used two 13.5-kilowatt motors and a 15-kilowatt-hour Sanyo lithium ion battery pack.

Sponsored by Yokohama to show off its orange oil tire technology, which uses 20 percent less petroleum than conventional tires, Ikuo Hanawa returns to look for a new record with the EV Sports Concept HER-02 buggy. Although the new car continues to use Sanyo batteries, its AC Propulsion drive system is new, and it's similar to that used in the Mini E, which was recently raced around the Nurburgring.