The story of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered is one of reaching milestone after milestone, encapsulating what ACCIONA is all about. The car became the first zero-emissions vehicle to compete in the 2015 Dakar Rally, powered 100% by clean energy, that is electric batteries. Second time around, the car has made a further leap forward in completing 10 stages, out of 13 that make up the toughest rally on the planet, of the 2016 race and becoming the fifth most media-followed vehicle in the race.
The tale began in 2012 when a 20-strong ACCIONA R&D&I team sought to realize their dream of building a zero-emission racing car: a machine with the capacity to compete in adverse conditions without emitting the least whiff of CO2.
With drivers Albert Bosch and Agustín Payá at the helm, we used the 2015 Dakar to prepare the ground for the challenge ACCIONA exists to take on: reaching its goal powered by renewable energy and with an eye firmly on the future.
In 2015, the car morphed into a vehicle with a chance of making bigger inroads into the rally, which winds through a wide range of arduous Argentine and Bolivian terrain. The battery system was redesigned to give the vehicle an electric-driven autonomy of 200 to 400 km, depending on conditions. The synchronous electric motor was overhauled to yield 300 hp, while weighing just 80 kg, making the car 40% lighter overall.
On 9 October 2015, another page was written in the history of the car: it became the first to complete an international FIA rally race without emitting CO2: the OiLybia International Morocco Rally.
After five stages of the 2,200 km event, held over the extreme terrain of the Moroccan desert, where temperatures exceed 40 degrees, the car, driven and nurtured by Ariel Jatón and Gastón Scasuzzo, made it and crossed the finishing line on the beach at Agadir. The achievement confirmed the promise of the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered: we were ready to go back for another stab at the hard-fought, mud-caked Dakar.
The ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered team, led by Jatón and Scasuzzo, set off for Buenos Aires at the end of last year. On Saturday 2 January 2016, the ‘penultimate’ dream came true: the EcoPowered became the only vehicle to set off in the Dakar driven solely by renewable energy. It had but one mission: to continue to show the way forward. The last chapter in this adventure is still to be written.