This year, Pikes Peak will, once again, be crawling with electric vehicles. Mitsubishi will be there with its i-MiEV-based racer, and the Pikes Peak EV Challenge Committee has just announced it will bring a new all-electric car to scale the 14,110-foot peak in Colorado this July.

The prototype vehicle will be developed by Team APEV, where APEV stands for the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles, and will be driven by the legendary Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima. Tajima has won the contest six years in a row, breaking the ten-minute barrier for the first time last year.

But that was in a gas-powered Suzuki, which isn't nearly as eco-chic as doing it with zero emissions. The coolest part, for real, is that Team APEV and Monster Sports will be participating to help victims of the 2011 Japan earthquake disaster as well as promoting environmental education projects for children and "projects to promote active participation from the senior citizens of Japan."

In 2011, two EVs, a Nissan Leaf and a custom EV from AC Propulsion, made the climb.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      So is he only going to race this vehicle or will he still be piloting an Unlimited entry this year as well? Will not be nearly as much fun to see the race this year without Monster in the Unlimited class. I do also lament the loss of the dirt areas, but to be fair, the dirt only covered a few miles of the track the past couple of years. it's been mostly pavement for a long time now. Not to mention that this year's entries have been capped due to so much interest, they are actually considering making it a multi-day event. Takes the sting away a little bit. Will also be cool to see some amazing cars race up, like former F1 cars, old LeMans cars, exotics, lots of stuff that never would have considered it prior to the paving. And to think, just a few years ago, the race almost folded completely due to lack of interest. I'll definitely be there.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The unique challenge of pikes peak is the elevation, which essentially starves petrol engines of air. These electric vehicles circumvent this problem entirely. Imo, they take a little bit of the fun out of the challenge.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I mourn for the loss of gravel, but it will still be a great event. This should be cool. The car looks amazing. Hope Monster does well.
      • 3 Years Ago
      One day, this old man will get killed falling off the cliff while sprinting towards Pikes Peak in a prototype and I honestly think he wouldnt want it any other way.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sure Monster can beat his record again, since electric car instantaneous acceleration could prove to be very useful in the climb...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't forget that the electric motor won't suffer from the lack of oxygen up there. It's scary how those 700+ HP monsters turn into paddle boats at such altitude.
      • 3 Years Ago
      this is going to be a really good year for pikes peak
      Boost Retard
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll be rooting for Walter Röhrl in the old quattro FTW!
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car reminds me a bit of the Mach 5 from Speed Racer.