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
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time: 10 worst gadgets of recent times
Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
The secret to a great sex life revealed: Two cups of coffee a day
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Teenager tries to buy elderly homeless man breakfast at McDonald's but is told homeless people cannot be served under 'new policy'
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...