Meet the Acciona EcoPowered Rally Car – The First EV to Complete The Dakar Rally!

The world’s fastest motorcycle, the most fun to ride dirt bike and the fastest accelerating car today are all electric powered. The speed with which electric vehicles are taking over various automotive applications and record books is alarming and heartening at the same time.

Also, it is one of the few industries where component costs are expected to reduce each passing day while becoming better in terms of performance.

Tesla, Nikola, Nissan, Chevrolet, Alta, Hyundai and our very own Mahindra are some of the brands the world has come to recognize and love for the strides they have made in the green electric vehicle space.

But there is a special place in our hearts for a company called Acciona, that sponsored and helped develop a very unique electric vehicle project.

Take a look;

The Acciona 100% EcoPowered rally car powered its way to the finish line of The Dakar Rally; one of the world’s toughest motor events, without burning a drop of fuel and with no tailpipe emissions.

The iconic Dakar rally (formerly known as the Paris–Dakar Rally before its move to South America) is an unforgiving race that covers some 5,600 miles of rough terrain, and it chews up and spits out drivers and vehicles at every chance.

Needless to say, it’s also a petroleum-centric competition, with gas-powered motorcycles, rally cars and trucks all competing for a chance to top the podium in their respective categories.

But a couple of years ago, a new entry in the Dakar rally took a totally different approach, and instead brought an electric vehicle to compete.

acciona-ecopowered-rally-car-1

This is probably the hardest race for an EV to compete in, next to possibly 24 hours of LeMans. Electrics are starting to dominate Pike’s Peak, which plays to their strengths, but Dakar exploits every weakness a vehicle has and they still achieved some degree of success.

We weren’t aware of this effort and assumed we were still years away from having an EV compete in Dakar at all. Turns out, we were wrong. Thanks to Treehugger for this.

Tech Specs

Acciona-All-Electric-Rally-Car-Details

Built entirely in Spain, the home of Acciona, the EcoPowered rally car is fitted with a 250 kW electric motor capable of producing 340 horsepower, coupled with six “ultra-fast charging” lithium battery packs with a total 150 kWh capacity, and an on board 100 W solar panel.

With that battery and motor combo, the vehicle can run for about 200 kilometers in hell-on-earth Dakar race conditions.

Recharging the battery pack takes about 60 minutes.

Writing history takes time

Acciona’s first two attempts, in 2015 and 2016, weren’t successful, but in 2017, the Acciona 100% EcoPowered vehicle became the first zero-emissions vehicle to finish the Dakar.

It didn’t win the race, and in fact didn’t even place (the team actually came in last, but then again, 26% of all entries didn’t even finish), but considering the incredibly challenging conditions of this epic rally, just finishing it was enough, and in doing so, it made history!

Watch a quick recap of their 2016 unsuccessful run

Rather than debate how we simply just can’t live with the color of the vehicle or other such critical issues, we see living proof that – life IS possible without fossil fuels, and not a lesser life either.

Gracias Acciona. We look forward to more from your EV stable.

Images and Videos: Acciona

 

 

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