In 2015, the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered was the first 100% electric vehicle to participate in the Dakar Rally, and the first to successfully finish Morocco's International OiLibya Rally.
In 2016 the toughest test in the world is faced once again: the Dakar Rally, which kicked off on January 2nd in Buenos Aires, having already covered part of the country en route to Bolivia. Later, it will again cross the border at Villazón on its way to Salta, where team members will enjoy a day of rest.
Despite all the major automotive brands attending, only an energy company is capable of taking on this challenge with 100% zero emissions.
Since 2011, ACCIONA has demonstrated the reliability of renewable energy in the most hostile environments: first reaching the Geographic South Pole in a sled driven by kites alone, then in 2012 participating in the Vendée Globe with the first zero emissions racing yacht, and again last October when the ACCIONA successfully completed the International OiLibya Rally in Morocco.
The Dakar Rally is unfolding between January 2nd and the 16h.
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 4x4 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.