In just about the last place on earth we would expect to see an all-electric car, there it is - the 2016 Dakar Rally.

As part of the lineup for the 37th running of the event, which is being held in South America for the 8th straight year, is the ACCIONA 100% electric car.

The event started in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 2nd, and ends in Bolivia on January 16th.  The video above focuses solely on the ACCIONA, completing Stage 5 entering the weekend, although the EV has now completed Stage 7 and is at the halfway mark of the race.

And while there is no hope for the BEV to actually win, or seriously compete in the event, the rally car is there more as an example of what plug-in technology can do, and to promote the electrification of the automobile.

Good luck the rest of the way!  You can follow the team at the ACCIONA homepage here.

Here is the team's update after completing stage 7 on Sunday:

Salta, January 10th 2016 – The ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered has completed the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally by successfully arriving in Salta (Argentina) after competing throughout a challenging week marked by difficulties along the way: Argentina’s extreme and changing climatic conditions and the high altitudes of the Bolivian stages.

It’s a milestone for the 100% electric vehicle, which is the creation of ACCIONA, a Spanish infrastructure, water, services, and energy company; participation in the Dakar Rally demonstrates the reliability and competitivity of renewable energies when up against fossil fuels, even in the most hostile environments. This was already achieved upon completing the OiLibya Rally in Morocco; a points trial on the FIA calendar that was in large part held in the Moroccan desert of Zagora.

For this new challenge, improvements were made to last year’s edition, reducing the vehicle’s weight by 40% and incorporating 8 packs of more powerful batteries, in addition to a sequential gearshift and 4×4 traction.

At the wheel of the ACCIONA we find Ariel Jatón, who says, “the Dakar is always tough, but our work is paying off. The vehicle’s performance is ideal, and the whole team’s hard work, day and night, in impossible conditions, is simply incredible. On the other hand, it’s exciting that spectators recognise the project and applaud us for seeing it through.”

Ariel is accompanied by co-pilot Gastón Scazzuso, who adds; “each stage is a different and unexpected challenge, you never know what you are going to find along the way. No matter how much you prepare, high-risk situations always come up that force you to make split-second decisions”.

Following today’s day of rest in Salta, tomorrow the second half of the Dakar 2016 will begin, culminating next Saturday January 16th in Rosario.

(Hat tip to Olaf!)


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