Electric vehicle prepares to join gruelling Dakar competition
Sunday 17 April 2011
The Dakar Rally is one of the toughest competitions in the world, renowned for a gruelling, long route through through unforgiving terrain - and next year, an electric vehicle hopes to be one of the first to complete the challenge.
A Latvian team has constructed a range-extended vehicle, similar to that used by the Chevrolet Volt, which it believes can cover the 9,000 km route through South America, which begins January 1.
Their car, the eO, is based on the cross-country O3 SUV made by OSC, a Latvian brand which specializes in off-road racing vehicles.
However, unlike the gas-powered O3, the OSCar eO has been rigged with a 180 kW electric motor, allowing top speeds of 140 km/h and a range of up to 300 km using the built-in batteries.
When the power runs low, the eO fires up an onboard generator fed by the 200 liter fuel tank to propel itself even further, in the same way that the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera operate.
Specially adapted for the terrain of the Dakar race, the motors are also able to up their output to 315 kW for short bursts, which the team members say will allow them to negotiate the particularly steep sand dunes of the Atacama Desert in Chile.
"Electric vehicles can already be seen across various motorsport disciplines but nobody has dared to tackle rally raids like the Dakar," said OSC's Andris Dambis, "we will be the first."
It's certainly a challenge - the Dakar Rally started in 1978 as a race between Paris and Dakar, Senegal but now takes a route through South American countries, covering dunes, mud, rocks and almost every other imaginable terrain.
This year's event follows almost the length of the Andes Mountain Range, crossing South America from Argentina's Mar Del Plata and up the west side of the continent through Chile and Peru.
It begins January 1, 2012 and is expected to end January 15.
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps Pacman: company offers chance to play arcade classic on streets around the world
Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
The Clove Club: The restaurant where you will pre-pay for your food
Facebook virtual reality optical illusion less impressive than originally thought
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...