Dakar Rally

An Electric Car Conquered The Dakar Rally For The First Time

Let there be no doubt about the capabilities of electric cars anymore.

If you were in any doubt about the capabilities of electric cars, there’s plenty of proof that they shouldn’t be underestimated. The reveal of the Faraday FF 91 has been hailed as the fastest-accelerating EV on the planet, while the Rimac Concept_One recently blitzed the Bugatti Veyron. This latest milestone isn’t about flatout speed, however, but endurance. Because, for the first time ever, an all-electric car successfully completed the grueling Dakar Rally, according to Electrek.

That accolade belongs to Acciona, a Spanish company which concentrates on renewable energy. It took five years to develop its own custom-built, battery-powered car to compete in the Dakar Rally. After two failed attempts, this year it conquered what is regarded as one of the most grueling and downright dangerous endurance rallies in the world when other experienced drivers couldn’t, successfully completing the 5,600 mile trek through Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. 18,000 vehicles have participated in the Dakar Rally since it began, but Acciona’s entry is the first to compete without emitting any carbon dioxide.

Driver Ariel Jaton commented on the victory: “The odyssey is over. This year’s Dakar was very tough, with some very intense stages complicated by the weather, and the altitude in Bolivia. It was the most grueling race in South America, so we are thrilled to have reached the finish line, particularly in an electric car.” This year’s Dakar Rally was especially grueling because the Río Grande burst its bank, forcing officials to reroute the race. Despite this, the electric car managed to tackle the tough terrain. It’s equipped with a 340 horsepower synchronous electric motor powered by a 150 kWh modular battery pack.

The six lithium battery modules inside can be individually charged to get to full power in just 60 minutes, while a 100-watt solar panel on the back of the roof captures additional energy. The body was constructed out of lightweight carbon fiber. The win is undoubtedly a tremendous achievement that shows how electric cars can be just as capable as their fuel-powered counterparts.

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