Dakar First: Electric Vehicle Finishes Rally in Top 100 (VIDEO)

The OSCar eO, a range-extended electric vehicle created by Latvian motorsport engineering company OSC, is the first E-REV to ever finish the brutal Dakar Rally. The 2012 rally raid wound through Argentina, Chile and Peru’s varied terrains and climates- a grueling test of endurance for conventional vehicles, let alone an electric vehicle.  The Latvian team’s historic win shows that electric vehicles can too survive in rugged conditions, and further proves that “green” doesn’t have to be boring.

We had written about the OSCar eO earlier in the year, when its entry into the Dakar Rally was first announced. Andris Dambis, the project director of OSC, an engineer and also one of the rally drivers, designed and built the off roader in partnership with Winston Batteries and technical support from various other countries. The vehicle contains 16 modules of Winston Batteries with a combined 512 V and a total energy of 52 kwh. A permanent magnet electric,150 kW motor provided 335 kW of peak power for bursts of speed up the steep dunes found in the Chilean desert, with a top speed of about 87 mph. This may not seem like much, but the E-REV was not competing against conventional vehicles.

The battery packs offer a range of 93 to 186 miles, depending on the terrain. Each leg of the race is considerably longer than that, so the team used a 60 kwh permanent magnet generator is driven by a Nissan V6 internal combustion engine to pick up the slack. “[T]he propulsion will be 100% electric. The petrol unit will be mounted in the rear of the car and coupled only to the electric generator,” according to Mr. Dambis. The team also partnered with Donerre Suspension to harness electric energy from shock absorbers.

Before their finish on January 15th, Maris Saukans, one of the project initiators and an experienced rally driver, stated : “We like to be considered as pioneers. Now we have two tasks on the Dakar: to finish the race and give others inspiration.”  Both tasks were accomplished. Better yet, the OSCar eO site promises that they will be offering conversions after the completion of the rally. No word on pricing yet.

Watch how the OSCar eO was made:

Source: The Charging Point


Frankie Berti

I'm a Floridian transplant enjoying the farm to table culture that's flourishing in northeast Ohio. I am dedicated to supporting local food networks- which means I like getting my hands deep in compost, and I love shopping at local farmer's markets in small towns or taking my business to the many wonderful, independent restaurants in Cleveland. My goal is to connect communities with local, sustainable products and all the fun, important, green events going on in their areas.