Acciona 100% EcoPowered has traveled more than 4,000 kilometres so far in this year’s Dakar Rally and the team has its sights firmly set on finishing the grueling race.
Touted as the world’s only all-electric high end rally car, the vehicle boasts 250kW of power, equivalent to a 340 horsepower combustion engine. It has a synchronous electric motor, six fast-charging on-board batteries and a backup instrumentation power system run by a 100W rooftop solar panel.
The vehicle’s carbon-fibre body lightens the load, and the fully regulated hydraulic nitrogen suspension system helps to ensure the car (and drivers) aren’t rattled to pieces over the less than forgiving course.
This year’s vehicle features a redesigned chassis, lighter batteries, a six-gear sequential gearbox and improved 4-wheel traction. The battery system is able to fast-charge in just 60 minutes.
“.. it is the only one of the 491 participating vehicles that has not consumed a drop of fuel or emitted a single molecule of CO2 since it left the starting line in Asunción (Paraguay),” says Acciona.
A previous version of the vehicle had a top speed of 150 km/h and a range of around 200 kilometres. Depending on conditions and driving style, its energy consumption rate was between 20 to 45 kWh/100 kilometres.
In 2015, Acciona EcoPowered was the first zero emissions EV to participate in the Dakar Rally. While the vehicle didn’t complete the race, that was due to the malfunctioning of the navigation system rather than the vehicle itself.
In last year’s Morocco Rally, the team finished in fifth place in its category.
This year, the Acciona team have already successfully navigated on of the most challenging sections of the route, which included locations 3,500 metres above sea level and temperatures topping 50ºC. A final stage was marked by torrential rains that took out one of the leading teams.
Stage 6 of this year’s race was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions and 20% of cars in Acciona’s Ecopowered class have already dropped out.
The 39th running of the Dakar Rally ends on January 15. It consists of 9,000 kilometres divided into 12 stages.