The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an annual car and motorcycle race to the top of Colorado’s Pikes Peak, is brutal, to say the least–12.42 miles with over 156 turns and an altitude change of 4,721 feet from start to finish. Hybrid and all-electric vehicles have successfully made the climb before, but this year the EV Sports Concept HER-02 buggy is gunning for a new world record with a little help from driver Ikuo Hanawa.
The EV Sports Concept’s predecessor, also driven by Hanawa, clocked in at 14:50.754 using two 13.5-kilowatt motors and a 15-kilowatt-hour Sanyo lithium-ion battery pack. For some perspective, the fastest record of any vehicle up to the peak is 10:01.408, according to CNet.
This latest EV incarnation has a decent chance of beating last year’s record–it uses the same Sanyo batteries along with a spiffed-up AC Propulsion drive system used by the Mini E on a race around Germany’s famed Nurburgring track. Hanawa’s vehicle also features Yokohama’s low-petroleum orange oil tires as part of a promotion for the company. We’ll be watching on June 27 as the EV Sport Concept makes its steep climb.