By on June 7, 2012

When we wrote about Mitsubishi’s electric attack on the hill at Pike’s Peak, Toyota did not want to confirm rumors that  WRC rally driver Fumio Nutahara would join the race on Toyota’s behalf in a TMG EV P001, the same that set a new electric lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. They were right. The rumor was off by a digit.

It now turns out that Nutahara will drive the newly built TMG EV P002 with an updated and more powerful electric powertrain. Based on a Radical chassis, the TMG EV P002 has a predicted top speed of 240km/h in Pikes Peak configuration, with combined maximum power of 350kW from its two axial flux motors.

Now wait what Monster Tajima will take to the Peak. The race will take place on July 8.

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8 Comments on “Gentlemen, Charge Your Batteries...”

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    I have long opined that the way to develop electric/hybrid vehicles is the same way we developed ICE vehicles: Private innovation spurred on by competition, NOT government subsidy of R&D….

    We had races like the Indy 500 serve as spurs to invention and innovation by creating a commercial enterprising activity (the race)which became institutionalized entertainment.

    The natural competition for fame (for the drivers) and commercial advantage (for the sponsors and engineering firms) drove technological improvement farther, more quickly and far more efficiently than with government sponsorship.

    The ‘problem’ is, auto racing is a cumulative ‘been there, done that’ activity, so consumers of the sport, already sated in their desire for thrills, chills, spills, speed and danger by F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, and NHRA, would be unlikely find much entertainment by watching racing Pria, Volts, Leafs or Insights.

    • 0 avatar

      I also think that the ‘problem’ is that in the past manufacturers could sell cars on their speed and handling prowess, i.e. “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” But today most consumers are more interested in fuel efficiency, eco-friendliness and reliability. Those aren’t traits that you could turn into an exciting sport to watch.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s a great idea! Can we move the money (DOE, CAFE, etc.) into the racing bodies to subsidize prizes for the “green” classes? Like the X-Prize with less smug? I’d love to watch the NASCAR folks cheer on an electric Toyota racing to win federal gov’t money! Heads would explode across the South!

  • avatar
    Lynn E.

    Pikes Peak and drag racing are great ways to improve electric (or any propulsion) system. Obviously these events take tremendous power and put heavy loads on the vehicles. We will learn a lot from those that survive, those with great times, and from those with power left over.

    • 0 avatar

      Unfortunately, the one thing that prevents EVs’ acceptance among consumers, range, is not tested in the Pikes Peak hillclimb. Pikes Peak is ideal for EVs to show off specifically because it’s a limited distance. They also have an advantage in not needing oxygen to run, and the air starts getting thin as they go up. So a hillclimb like PP might not have any bearing on most real world driving.

      • 0 avatar

        Neither does Indy 500 for the most part: in the real world, we shift gears, turn right, drive even in the rain and use gasoline.

        And yet one or three people turn out to watch every year …

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