The first electric car in the Dakar

The Dakar Rally presents new products every year, and today we will talk about a surprising and interesting, the first electric vehicle that took part in the most extreme race in the world. It was in editing 2015.

acciona-dakar-rally-quionne-engineering-4The challenge of creating alternative propulsion vehicles is raising its level and options explored are increasingly. We refer to hybrid solutions, by electrical batteries or hydrogen fuel cell, among other.

Developing such solutions to everyday vehicles has much merit, but competition is already another level, and we could say that to participate in the Dakar Rally is “Champions level”.

The “Acciona 100% Eco Powered” was the first zero-emission car in history to participate in the Dakar rally. The project was managed by a newly created Spanish company called Quionne formed by young entrepreneurs and engineers to Acciona. A major challenge in order to demonstrate that it is possible to reach the goal of the Dakar with a car without CO2 emissions.

acciona-dakar-rally-quionne-engineering-2The first concept vehicle was based on propulsion generated by hydrogen fuel cell, but the organization of the rally did not accept the conditions Quionne so they had to manage to design a new car 100 % power that would have less autonomy than hydrogen option.

Anyway, there was no evil that good does not come, since the design allowed to perform 2 stage battery changes by achieving a similar range but were more complex logistics.

The electric motor designed generated 300 CV and was asynchronous permanent magnet brushless. The batteries on board the car were divided into 4 modules 450 Kg y 35 Kwh per module.

acciona-dakar-rally-quionne-engineering-3The modules were designed exclusively for the project, with independent refrigeration systems and their own active energy management. Also, They could be replaced quickly when the stored energy is running out.

Once prepared, It was tested and validated according to the requirements defined Acciona, and after that I sent into battle with the support Quionne. Albert Bosch and Agustin Paya were responsible for fly it in South American lands.

A great challenge to be overcome proud!

Adrián Osés, Locos Engine.

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Adrián Osés
Author: Adrián Osés Motorsport enthusiast and Engineering, founder and editor of Mad Engine.