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Electric Vehicle with Yokohama Tires Nearly Bests EV Record on First Try at Most Famous Hill Climb in the World
 

Tokyo, Aug 31, 2009 (JCN) - The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has announced that its off-road racing team, Team Geolandar, made its debut using an electric vehicle (EV) in the 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, July 19, in Colorado, U.S.A., turning in the second-best performance ever for an EV.

Mr. Ikuo Hanawa, a veteran of world-class off-road races, was the driver. The EV racing buggy created by Team Geolandar uses lithium-ion batteries made by Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. and is equipped with Yokohama Rubber's "Geolandar" SUV tires.

It was the only EV entry in the exhibition car class. Due to torrential rains immediately before the start, Mr. Hanawa was forced to drive carefully, but, without any major mistakes, crossed the finish line in a time of 14 minutes and 50 seconds (second in the class) - very close to the all-time EV record of 14 minutes and 37 seconds.

Highly evaluated for their handling, maneuverability and durability on any kind of road surface, "Geolandar" SUV tires facilitated safe, stable driving. Beginning with participation in this race, Yokohama Rubber will take part in various races to promote expanding the possibilities for electric vehicles, as well as to further develop EV tires for use in severe off-road conditions.

This year marked the 87th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - known as the "Race to the Clouds" - the most famous 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.

The race is known for the severity of its conditions: rapidly changing temperatures and weather, a combination of tarmac and gravel surfaces, and 156 curves. This year, more than 200 automobiles and motorcycles competed.

By Saroj Shrestha Staff Writer

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