Ikuo Hanawa smashes his own Pikes Peak record for Yokohama

Ikuo Hanawa crosses Pikes Peak finish for Team Yokohama EV Challenge – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ikuo Hanawa, as part of the "Team Yokohama EV Challenge," has participated in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) for the third year running with record-smashing results. His latest time of 12:20.084 shaved a whopping 57 seconds off last year's result.

Fitted with about 37 kWhs of Sanyo's 18650 format lithium ion batteries and shod with Yokohama's latest orange oil-infused BluEarth prototype tires, the improvement can be traced to the pumped-up AC Propulsion drivetrain with its "Pikes Peak AC-180 motor." The set up in the 2011 version of the mountain-climbing racer from Summit Motorsports is said to be good for 268 horsepower (200kW) and 258 lb.-ft of torque.

Although this 12.4-mile course to the top retained a dirt section this year, it will be all pavement in 2012 and this record – and many others – are expected to fall next year. Hit the jump for official press releases by both Yokohama and AC Propulsion.

[Source: AC Propulsion / Yokohama]

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AC Propulsion Continues to Set the EV Bar with Unrivaled Technology and Performance

San Dimas, Calif. (June 27, 2011) - AC Propulsion, a global leader in electric drive design, development and manufacturing, announced today that the Yokohama-sponsored electric race car using AC Propulsion's proprietary electric drive system broke its own 2010 record at the 89th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The AC Propulsion-equipped vehicle won the hill climb's Exhibition Class and set a new EV record with a time of 12:20:084, besting last year's record-breaking time of 13:17:575 by nearly one minute. It was also the race's fastest EV among both cars and motorcycles.

"AC Propulsion electric drive systems deliver performance," said AC Propulsion CEO Tom Gage. "Our shttp://cms.aol.com/146/content/posts/create/tring of Pikes Peak EV records--especially this one, where we are well into the 12-minute bracket--clearly demonstrates that electric vehicles can get up the hill fast. Now that more people are buying EVs, it's important to offer really good performance. For us, the old racing slogan holds: win on Sunday, sell on Monday."

For Team Yokohama's winning EV race car, AC Propulsion engineers developed a high-performance cooling system for the vehicle's 200-kW induction motor so it could operate at maximum output throughout the ascent up the mountain and break the record set last year with the same motor. (That motor powered the Yokohama-sponsored EV that beat the previous EV record set by Jeri Unser in 2003 by 65 seconds.)

This year's Yokohama EV, a rear-wheel drive, open-wheel race car, was built by Summit Motorsports and driven by Japan's Ikuo Hanawa. It used fuel-efficient Yokohama BluEarth tires and SANYO Electric Co. lithium-ion batteries. The Pikes Peak AC-180 motor, rated at 268 horsepower (200kW) at 6000-7000 rpm and 258 lb.-ft of torque from zero to 5000 rpm, is a high performance version of the AC Propulsion AC-150 motor found in the BMW MINI E. The drive system utilizes the proprietary tzero-technology that also powered the MonoTracer MTE-150 to a first place victory in its category and achieved the highest efficiency overall in the 2010 Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.

Now in its 89th year, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also known as the Race to the Clouds, is the best-known hill climb in the world. Racing to the 4,301-meter summit, participants cover a 12.4-mile course beginning at the 2,862-meter level. The race is famous for the severity of its conditions: rapidly changing temperatures and weather, a combination of tarmac and gravel surfaces and 156 turns.

About AC Propulsion: AC Propulsion is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of electric vehicle technology. AC Propulsion's proprietary tzero technology is a complete solution for electric vehicles, and can be customized for every class of electric vehicle, from a sports car to an SUV to an 8-ton city bus. AC Propulsion has been making EV motors without the use of rare earth materials for more than 20 years. The company is also a leader in the development of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capable vehicles, as well as the research and development of V2G technology. Media contact number: 310-383-0956.

About Yokohama: Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company's complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world's first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama's extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

Electric Vehicle Bests EV Performance Record for the Second Year in a Row on Yokohama Tires
Best-Known Hill Climb in the World

Tokyo - The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has announced today that its racing team, Team Yokohama, turned in the best performance for an EV in the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The team referred to the race as the "Team Yokohama EV Challenge," and its time of 12:20.084 was 57 seconds faster than the record it established last year. The race was staged on Sunday, June 26, in the state Colorado, U.S.A.

This time, the team's original EV racecar was equipped with prototype BluEarth tires - Yokohama's environmental tire brand. Incorporating various environmental technologies for better fuel-efficient performance, BluEarth tires also deliver high levels of gripping power, enabling stable driving on the course's difficult combination of tarmac and gravel surfaces. The team used the latest vehicle equipped with lithium-ion batteries from Sanyo Electric and an AC induction motor from AC Propulsion of the United States. It was driven by Mr. Ikuo Hanawa, a skilled performer in world-class off-road racing. Yokohama Rubber has participated in the race for three consecutive years for the purposes of harmonizing driving enjoyment and environmental concern, and advancing its research and development of EV tires.

Marking its 89th year, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - also known as the "Race to the Clouds" - is the best-known hill climb in the world. Racing to the 4,301-meter summit, participants cover a 20-kilometer course beginning at the 2,862-meter level.

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