Acciona 100% EcoPowered vehicle has become the first electric car to participate in the Finke Desert Race, which was held this weekend in Alice Springs.
From the first official viewing of the cars, to the prologue, and during the race itself, the car attracted widespread attention from fans and other competitors.
“It was great to be here in Australia for this wonderful race,” said Andrea Peterhansel, the car’s pilot. “It was like nothing else we have ever experienced, and the number of people on the side of the road cheering on the cars was incredible. The course itself was lots of fun to drive, and we really enjoyed the challenge of this terrain and the hot, dusty conditions.”
The car endured mixed fortunes during the event, timing out late on the first day’s stage as a result of a 45-minute recharge along the route.
The second day saw a much different outcome however, with the team deciding to push the car to its limits and do the whole 230km stage without a recharge. The approach paid off, with the car finishing the stage within the time limit.
“We learned a lot from day one, and used that knowledge and experience on the second day,” said co-pilot Emma Clair. “It was a big decision to try the whole stage back to Alice Springs without a recharge, as we knew the distance involved would really test not just the battery’s capacity, but our driving strategy and how we managed the vehicle. It worked though, and we were so happy to cross the finishing line – it was such a great moment.”
The pilots were supported by technical and sporting director Ariel Jatón, who made rally history by finishing the Dakar rally in the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered in 2017, as well as a crew and support truck flown in especially for the event.
Participation in the Finke Desert Race has once again demonstrated the competitiveness of renewable energy, and how new technologies continue to push the boundaries not just in energy generation, but also in sport and other areas.
In 2017 the car made history, becoming the first zero-emissions vehicle to complete the Dakar Rally. Since then it’s gone on to finish several other qualifiers for the FIA World Rallycross Championship, including the Italian Baja and Morocco rallies