A fully electric rally car that last year became the first of its type to finish the famous Dakar Rally, is to compete in this year’s Finke Desert Race in its first Australian visit.
The vehicle, built and sponsored by Spanish renewable and infrastructure company Acciona, is is powered by eight lithium ion batteries, a 250kW synchronous electric motor equivalent to 340 horsepower, and is also equipped with a solar panel with generation capacity of 100Wh.
Acciona technical and sporting director, Ariel Jatón, was behind the wheel in the vehicle’s 30thplace finish in last year’s Dakar, introduced the car at a function in Sydney last week.
Jatón said he expects to see more 100% renewable-powered vehicles in International rally races following the level of competitiveness his car achieved in Dakar.
“I think the other races and followers of Dakar were really surprised at how competitive we were in the race, and I expect to see many more vehicles of this nature in future races now that we’ve shown that we can compete”.
Jatón and his brother built the car following five years of R&D work in Spain, determined to show that zero-emissions vehicles can compete in the toughest conditions.
Ariel will not be behind the wheel in the Finke Desert Race however, the vehicle will instead be crewed by two female pilots, Andrea Peterhansel and Emma Clair.
Peterhansel has participated in over 60 rallies, and Clair is the Bajas TT quad world champion and drove this electric rally car to 11th place in the Italian Baja rally.
The battery modules can be charged within 60 minutes, giving the electric rally car a range of 200kms in racing conditions. Generators (powered by bio-fuels) are used to charge the batteries in remote areas.