'Monster' Tajima to Take on Pike's Peak in an EV
By Davey G. Johnson
Last year, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima set the last record involving a Pikes Peak course with any measure of a dirt surface, breaking the 10-minute barrier. With this year's Race to the Sky running on a completely paved road, the Japanese hillclimb maestro has decided to take a different tack, deciding to cane an EV up the Colorado mountain.
The machine itself looks as if Ed “Big Daddy” Roth tried to build a modern LMP car. The specs are as yet unreleased, but given Tajima's past lunatic efforts to ascend the mountain in a more-than-timely fashion, it's pretty safe to say that the machine has a good shot at smashing the current EV record of 12 minutes, 20 seconds, set by the AC Propulsion AC-180 last year.
Can he break his own 9:51 record? On one hand, new technology, new vehicle, potential problems. On the other, decreased air density at altitude isn't a power-sapping factor in an EV, the course is now completely paved, and well, you know, the competitive tenacity and fighting spirit of the man they call "Monster."
Working in conjunction with the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles, Tajima's Monster Sports will field the car under the Team APEV with Monster Sports banner. Proceeds from the program will benefit victims of last year's devastating earthquake in Japan.
Some 199 years after Zebulon Pike's death, we have no doubt that the intrepid explorer would be astounded by all of this, especially since he never made it to the top of the 14,110-foot hill that bears his name.
First, it is disappointing that Pikes Peak is now completely paved...
Secondly, the thinner air at higher elevations can indirectly reduce an EV's power by reducing the efficiency of the cooling systems for the batteries and electric motor(s). The computers may end up pulling back the juice to keep the motor, batteries, wiring from melting.
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