Jesús Sancho, managing director, ACCIONA Middle East on the fully electric rally car that’s competing in this month’s Dakar Rally
Seven years ago, nobody would imagine a 100% electric rally car competing in the most difficult and tough race in the world, the DAKAR rally. It has been a long and hard road to get where we are here today, but the result has worth it with no doubts.
The ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered has broken several records: it has been the first 100% electrical rally car to win a Dakar rally and the first car of its conditions to race a rally in the 5 continents, beating this record when it ran the Abu Dhabi Baja last November, becoming the first electrical rally car to participate in a Middle East rally.
When we faced this great project, we found three major challenges in our road to DAKAR:
One of these challenges was the technological one: to develop the entire vehicle in order to be capable of finishing the DAKAR.
When you are running on an electric powertrain, you have to understand all the complications that has this technology to face this race: especially in terms of range and batteries…. It is quite complex to fit all the consumptions and range requirements that the stages demand.
Moreover, all the technical and safety regulations, that must be applied as well to the electric powertrain used for the DAKAR.
All these restrictions made us to spend years for developing the whole ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered.
Once the vehicle was built, another great challenge rose: Logistics. One of the most important parts of the project since having a range between 200-350km depending on the terrain.
Every day, the team behind the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered had to be prepared to be able to attend the car during the entire race, as they were obliged to recharge batteries in the middle of the desert, which entailed moving chargers, moving all the team in order to be on place on time… Therefore, these facts prompted us to coordinate every detail precisely.
From the very first moment, the team behind the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered had to prepare documents for regulation; we also had to create the category to be allowed to compete… Which is the custom today for racing DAKAR or any world championship nowadays.
In addition, more complications were added to the sports challenge: the amount of driving hours, all the physical preparation of the driver, co-driver, the navigation and the technical tasks done by the team to meet the challenge.
After this long way, our intention with this sustainable challenge is none other than to launch a global message: the viability of clean energies versus polluting fuels, even in the most hostile environments and situations. And the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered is the perfect example of this:
- 3 Dakar rallies: the first zero-emission car to have finished the Dakar
- 2 Morocco rallies: the first zero-emission car to participate in a world rally championship
- 1 Italian Baja: the first zero-emission car to complete a rally on European soil
- 1 Finke Desert Race: the first zero-emission car to participate in Australia
- 1 Abu Dhabi Baja
- Navigation and driving of a zero-emission car
- Uniqueness of the project in the history of the motor world
With this challenge, we are once again showing our commitment to the planet and all its inhabitants. We know that climate change is a reality and as an organization, we actively fight global warming and strive to help create a more sustainable World.
ACCIONA seeks to meet the very real needs for infrastructure, water and energy with responsible solutions based on a new approach to business. Because there are always another ways of doing business. And we, as a Company, hope to lead this transition by offering our expertise in the design of a better planet.
When we decided to pursue this challenge, people told us it would be impossible. We had to adapt, but through teamwork, resilience, and perseverance, we overcame the impossible. This race was in alignment with our mission of creating sustainable and innovative solutions. Our next step with this amazing challenge is to bring the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered to the next Dakar rally in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and continue demonstrating the viability of the clean energies.