Last year, hill climber Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima became the first man to conquer Pikes Peak in under 10 minutes, driving a race-prepped Suzuki that was bleeding coolant and steering fluid by the time it crossed the finish line. This year, the 61-year-old plans to beat his record in this -- a custom-built electric car. If he succeeds, it will be the most impressive accomplishment by an electric racer in history.
Tajima does have some benefits to running electric over the 12.4-mile course, even if he won't be able to match the 847-hp output of his 2011 ride. Most gas-powered cars have to use massive turbochargers to suck enough air at altitudes topping 9,000 ft., and many overheat; neither should be an issue in an EV. Last year, Chad Hord put a Nissan Leaf on the route and finished in 14 minutes, 33 seconds, a record Tajima should smash without issue. The fastest custom-built EV run last year finished in 12:20 -- and had to run part of the course on gravel, which has since been paved over.
Look for him on the mountain in July.