Acciona EV Becomes First To Complete Dakar Rally


You don’t have to be a diehard motorsports fan to have heard of the Dakar Rally, the epic endurance race across some of the planet’s harshest terrain. This year’s event covered more than 5,600 miles of South America, and for the first time ever a 100% electric rally car crossed the finish line in one piece, completing the grueling challenge on its second attempt.

Built by Spanish renewable energy company Acciona, the electric rally car produces about 340 horsepower and can drive all-out for about 200 kilometers. It then takes just 60 minutes to recharge its 6 lithium-ion battery packs totaling 150 kWh of energy, trumping even the mighty Tesla Superchargers for recharge time.

These impressive numbers took five years to develop, however, including last year’s failed attempt to complete the epic rally race. After 111 hours of racing however, the Acciona electric rally car crossed the finish line in Buenos Aires, forever solidifying its place in racing history as the first EV to complete the Dakar Rally.

Here’s hoping it’s just the first of many.

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Steve Hanley

    Formula E, Electric GT Championship, electric rally cars. Are we seeing a pattern here?

  • kvleeuwen

    It’s a matter of bigger batteries before EVs outclass the turbodiesels.
    Just look at the reasons of the 26% dropouts: transmission, clutch, brakes, dirty fuel… all stuff that is simpler in full electric vehicle.

    • Steve Hanley

      Good points!

  • Colin Matthews

    How was it recharged on route? What was the sourced of electricity generation? What effect on battery life does such rapid recharging bring about? 150kWh @ $500/kWh = high cost. Battery costs are a long way from making equivalence with IC engines. We need carbon neutral electricity generation as well…..still,such a long way to go……

    • kvleeuwen

      A biodiesel generator on a truck. So, with some good will, carbon neutral.
      Total diesel consumption was one third of that of the winners.
      The batteries were charged at around 1C, so charging is easy on the batteries (this car has slower charging per capacity than practically all commercial EVs).
      So without breakthroughs but some redesign, charging time can be halved.
      Battery price is dropping fast.