As Promised, Here Is the Nissan LEAF and Its “Race to the Clouds”

Discussion in 'Nissan' started by xcel, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Would this have been totally cool to watch or what!!!

    [fimg=right][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - June 28, 2011

    100% Electric LEAF takes its first ever, all-electric stock class win.

    While it was snowing just days before the inaugural 89th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, beautiful blue skies made their presence felt as Nissan provided some really quiet and extraordinary fireworks in the form of its LEAF in the “Race to the Clouds”.

    From the preview (Nissan’s LEAF set to tackle the “Race to the Clouds”) to the conclusion (The Nissan LEAF and Its “Race to the Clouds”), it was a hell of a historic run for the 100% electric Nissan LEAF.

    The veteran Nissan off-road truck racing champion Chad Hord and the 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF made history as the first winners of the Electric Production Class. The LEAF completed the run with a time of 14 minutes 33 seconds for the 12.42 mile run. Even though the LEAF was virtually stock except for interior safety modifications and more aggressive wheels and tires, it outran several competitors with highly modified internal combustion engines.

    The “Race to the Clouds” or Pikes Peak Hill Climb is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak. As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air slows internal combustion engines, sapping upwards of 30% of their peak power when the reach the summit. The LEAF’s electric motor is not impacted by the thin air and with the reduced aerodynamic drag due to lower air density, it only gets faster ;) It produces the same amount of power at the start as at the summit.

    The cool part is that the LEAF was racing from corner to corner in near silence other than the sound of squealing tires and the high pitched sound of a warning beeper installed at the request of the race organizers to warn spectators and workers of the near silent race cars approach :D :D :D As per our review of the all-electric monster, it comes from the factory with a pedestrian warning system that is active up to about 30 mph but since the LEAF was traveling much faster on the course, a supplemental system was imposed to warn those along the course that th silent beast was “fast” approaching :)

    Since the competitors can only practice a third of the run at a time during the week leading up to the race, today was the first time Chad and the LEAF had completed the entire race distance in a single run.

    According to Nissan, this was an innovative way to demonstrate that 100 percent BEVs perform very well in highly demanding situations like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
  2. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    Were there any other competitors in the Electric Production Class?
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    ... no. :eek: The Leaf has the record by default.

    One other electric, but it was a purpose-built racer. Of course it was faster.
  4. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised Tesla did not enter.
  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Hmmm... maybe because the Tesla is fading away? But why not last year or the year before? I have no doubt they could have beat the Leaf.
  6. EVuser

    EVuser Well-Known Member

    The regen going back down the course would be as much "fun" as the drive up.:flag:
  7. southerncannuck

    southerncannuck Well-Known Member

    Is there any video of the run?
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi SouthernCannuck:

    I made a request for Vid or B-Roll to @NissanNews, @BBrockman and @DanBedore (just recently left Hyundai) of Nissan's PR group via twitter so we find out in a few.

  9. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Here is an in-car video of a Leaf at Laguna Seca:

    "The Leaf drivetrain and battery BMS are solid. To my surprise almost every other EV out there (production or otherwise) had heat management issues after 2-5 laps. Tesla's were hitting power cut by lap 4-5. Most of the other kit cars could do one or two laps due to heat or range issues. Conversely, the Leaf was pulling strong all day and the battery temp gauge didn't move over 6 bars. Energy efficiency on the track was a stellar 1.2-1.3 m/kWh. Ha!"

    The winner at Pikes Peak, EV class:

    "This year’s Yokohama EV, a rear-wheel drive, open-wheel race car, was built by Summit Motorsports and driven by Japan’s Ikuo Hanawa. It used fuel-efficient Yokohama BluEarth tires and SANYO Electric Co. lithium-ion batteries. The Pikes Peak AC-180 motor, rated at 268 hp (200 kW) at 6000-7000 rpm and 258 lb-ft (350 N·m) of torque from zero to 5000 rpm, is a high-performance version of the AC Propulsion AC-150 motor found in the BMW MINI E."
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Herm:

    From last year...

    Hanawa Returning to Pike’s Peak with a New Yokohama BEV

    And this:

    An AC Propulsion powered BEV Race car set a new electric-car record of 12 minutes, 20 seconds at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs this past weekend.

    The BEV sponsored by Yokohama, broke its own record of 13 minutes, 17 seconds from last year’s race and also won the hill climb’s exhibition class. The car was also fastest all-electric vehicle at the race this past Sunday.

    The Pike’s Peak climb and race via a pure all-electric is a demonstration that the once EV prominence from over a century ago is making a comeback in a very big way. In addition to the one off AC Propulsion science-experiment that nobody will be able to purchase or drive legally on any road in America, the Nissan LEAF was on hand to prove that mainstream is as simple as placing your VISA on the counter and driving away in a brand new LEAF. When you can find one not already accounted for that is ;)

    The Yokohama BEV driven by Ikuo Hanawa had is a rear-wheel drive, open-wheel design. It was equipped with what else but “Yokohama BluEarth tires” designed for high fuel economy. Its 268-HP motor is a higher-performance version of the AC Propulsion AC-150 motor found in BMW’s Mini E.

    The Nissan media vid from Laguna Seca is not Pike's Peak unfortunately :(

  11. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Go Nissan! I myself got passed by a Leaf while climbing a hill today.
  12. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Brian Brockman, Nissan's National PR lead tweeted the following to me just a few hours ago:
    This is going to be great!!!

  14. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Oooh, can't wait. I really enjoyed the video from Laguna Seca.

    Sorry Sean ... the teasing only gets worse:

    On the way home tonight I saw not a Leaf ... but a Tesla. No joke. Charcoal gray.
  15. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Meh... Unobtanium with no room for carseats. ;)

    Still cool though!!!

    For a bit of a turn around, I got passed this morning by a bright blue... Elantra Touring. :D
  16. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    This is coming from a guy driving a 2-seat Insight. :p
  17. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    ... who still has his Elantra for kid duty. :p
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Here is a preview of the 2011 Nissan LEAF's "Race to the Clouds" drive on the Pike's Peak International Hill Climb course :)


  19. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Here's an interview with Chad and some snippets of the actual run. :D
  20. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Watching that second video reminds me of what an amazing EV Nissan has built here. Being the first mainstream-ish BEV on the market they could have gotten away with something mediocre, but instead -- much like the Prius-II back in 2004 -- they nailed it. Not only does it run on pure battery power and nothing else, but it's actually a great car in its own right. They've set a REALLY high bar for future competitors to aim for.

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