Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy multinational Acciona is taking on the challenge of the Dakar Rally with its 100 percent EcoPowered vehicle.
The 39th Dakar Rally is already underway, running from 1st to 15 January on a route through Paraguay (the 29th country to be included), Bolivia and Argentina. The route has been described as “the toughest route in South America” by the rally’s sport director, Marc Coma. It consists of 9,000 kilometres divide into 12 stages, with half of them being over 3,000 metres altitude.
Acciona’s 100 percent EcoPowered vehicle finished the Morocco Rally in fifth place in its category of 4-wheel drive vehicles and will be driven by the same crew, consisting of Ariel Jatón and Tito Rolán.
“We are really excited to be participating, and more driven than ever” said Mr Jatón. “We've been preparing for three years, having driven over 15,000 kilometres, so if the old saying about 'third time lucky' is true, we will be going all out to reach the finish line.”
The vehicle underlines Acciona’s commitment to the defence of the environment and the firm’s readiness to combat climate change, in alignment with the Paris Agreement. It is the result of ongoing research and development since the idea was first conceived by Acciona’s R&D and Innovation Department in 2012. At 250 kW, equivalent to a 340 horsepower combustion engine, the vehicle is the world’s most powerful electric car. This is due to an innovative power train comprising a synchronous electric motor, six fast-charging on-board batteries and a backup instrumentation power system driven by a high-performance rooftop solar panel with a rated capacity of 100 Wh. Technical improvements made this year include a chassis re-design, lighter batteries, a six-gear sequential gearbox and enhanced 4-wheel traction, thereby enhancing the vehicle’s reliability.