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Electric car does the (whole) Dakar

17 January 2017

Spanish energy company, Acciona recently made Dakar history as its vehicle, the Acciona 100% EcoPowered, became the first ‘zero-emissions’ contender to cross the finish line.

It took a total of three attempts, but the rally vehicle completed the 9 000 km race this year without using a single drop of fuel or ‘directly emitting a single CO2 molecule’. It placed 57th overall.

Electricity is constantly generated on-board by a host of futuristic gadgetry, since electric wall sockets for recharging purposes are not exactly easily accessible in the middle of the desert.

A roof-mounted solar panel harnesses power from the sun, which is then converted into electrical charge. This is coupled to six ultra-fast charging lithium battery modules, that in turn power the synchronous electric motor.

Despite being of the electrical variety, the performance of the motor doesn’t have to play second fiddle to any of those from the more established Dakar competitors. Performance is rated at 250kW of power and a staggering 800Nm of instantaneous torque. Power is sent to the 4WD drivetrain via a six-speed sequential gearbox. Just for comparison, the naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine living inside the bonnet of the Toyota Hilux Dakar produces 300kW and 600Nm of torque.

“This year’s Dakar was extremely tough, so we are thrilled to have reached the finish line,” said EcoPowered pilot, Ariel Jatón, “particularly in an electric car.” According to Acciona, it achieved its goal of proving that renewable energy can be competitive.

Wacth a video of the Acciona 100% EcoPowered racing during the Dakar 2017.