Yokohama Rubber to Run EV in Hill Climb with Prototype Fuel-Efficient BluEarth Tires


Tokyo - The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., has announced that its racing team will participate with an electric vehicle (EV) in the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The event will be staged on June 26, in the state of Colorado, U.S.A. The team refers to the race as the "Team Yokohama EV Challenge." The team's original EV racecar is equipped with prototype BluEarth tires incorporating various environmental technologies, including orange oil compounding techniques. BluEarth tires deliver high levels of both fuel-efficient performance and gripping power.

The "Challenge" is just one of Yokohama Rubber's many environmental activities based on the BluEarth concept, which the company seeks to share with the world under the theme "environmentally, human and socially friendly." The purpose of the "Challenge" is to harmonize the pleasure of driving with the environment, and the research and development of EV tires. This will be the third year for Yokohama Rubber to participate in the race. Last year, the team accomplished the outstanding feat of substantially besting the previous all-time record for an EV.

Yokohama Rubber's EV car will again be driven by Mr. Ikuo Hanawa, a skilled performer in world-class off-road racing. Based on last year's machine, it features enhanced specifications and improved performance. It uses a lithium-ion battery from Sanyo Electric and an AC Induction Motor from American AC Propulsion, enabling plug-in recharging.

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. 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