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An Electric Car Finished The Grueling Dakar Rally For The First Time Ever

Photo credit: ASO/A. Vialette
Photo credit: ASO/A. Vialette

Where is your range anxiety now?! For the first time ever, an all-electric vehicle finished one of the most grueling races on the planet: the Dakar Rally.

Acciona is a Spanish company that focuses on renewable energy, and they use their unique Dakar entry as a big rolling example of what they’re capable of, per Electrek. They’ve been been attempting the Dakar Rally for the past three years with their custom-made electric vehicle.

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Their third time this year was the charm, however, making them the first zero-emissions vehicle to complete the entire length of the rally, according to Electrek. Driver Ariel Jaton and co-driver German Rolon ran the No. 369 Acciona car in the NRJ Open class this year.

Photo credit: Acciona
Photo credit: Acciona
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It took them five years to develop their electric vehicle, which uses a 340-horsepower synchronous electric motor fed 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. A 100-watt solar panel on the back of roof captures additional energy for the car. The body was made of lightweight carbon fiber.

However, it wasn’t outright speed that allowed them to finish, as the car was electronically limited to just 93 mph.

While this year’s running was significantly shortened from its planned 5,600-mile length thanks to foul weather and a landslide blocking part of the route, it’s still the Dakar Rally. Everything from lightning to narrow roads with no guardrails to even other rally competitors caught some of the best rallyists in the world by surprise this year.

About 18,000 vehicles have attempted Dakar in the past, but Acciona’s car is the first to finish without emitting any carbon dioxide in the process. Here’s hoping their next attempt will include more of the full length of the rally so we can really see how far an electric car will go.

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Photo credit: ASO/F.Gooden
Photo credit: ASO/F.Gooden

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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DISCUSSION

farscythe
farscythe - makin da cawfee!

right... i need eleven volunteers and a beer sponsor

we’re doing the dakar next year.. who’s with me :D