ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered rally car takes part in iconic race
Andrea Peterhansel and Emma Clair enjoy desert challenge
Demonstrates competitiveness of renewable energy
ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered has become the first electric car to participate in the Finke Desert Race, which was held this weekend in Alice Springs.
From the first official viewing of the cars, to the prologue, and during the race itself, the car attracted widespread attention from fans and other competitors.
“It was great to be here in Australia for this wonderful race,” said Andrea Peterhansel, the car’s pilot. “It was like nothing else we have ever experienced, and the number of people on the side of the road cheering on the cars was incredible. The course itself was lots of fun to drive, and we really enjoyed the challenge of this terrain and the hot, dusty conditions.”
The car endured mixed fortunes during the event, timing out late on the first day’s stage as a result of a 45-minute recharge along the route.
The second day saw a much different outcome however, with the team deciding to push the car to its limits and do the whole 230km stage without a recharge. The approach paid off, with the car finishing the stage within the time limit.
“We learned a lot from day one, and used that knowledge and experience on the second day,” said co-pilot Emma Clair. “It was a big decision to try the whole stage back to Alice Springs without a recharge, as we knew the distance involved would really test not just the battery’s capacity, but our driving strategy and how we managed the vehicle. It worked though, and we were so happy to cross the finishing line – it was such a great moment.”
The pilots were supported by technical and sporting director Ariel Jatón, who made rally history by finishing the Dakar rally in the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered in 2017, as well as a crew and support truck flown in especially for the event.
Participation in the Finke Desert Race has once again demonstrated the competitiveness of renewable energy, and how new technologies continue to push the boundaries not just in energy generation, but also in sport and other areas.
In 2017 the car made history, becoming the first zero-emissions vehicle to complete the Dakar Rally. Since then it’s gone on to finish several other qualifiers for the FIA World Rallycross Championship, including the Italian Baja and Morocco rallies.
ACCIONA is a leading supplier of sustainable infrastructure solutions and renewable energy projects worldwide. Its range of services covers the entire design, construction, operation and maintenance value chain. The company posted turnover of €7.25 billion in 2017; it has a presence in more than 40 countries and carries out its activities within a commitment to contribute to the economic and social development of the communities where it operates. ACCIONA’s aim is to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy, by applying criteria of quality and innovation processes to all its projects with a view to achieving efficient use of resources and caring for the environment. www.acciona.com
ACCIONA began operating in Australia in 2002, building its business to become an industry leader in renewable energy, infrastructure, construction and water. The company has successfully delivered large-scale projects including new and upgraded road and rail infrastructure, tunnels, bridges, desalination and water treatment plants, as well as wind and solar farms.
ACCIONA is a significant contributor to the Australian economy, with equity positions in several projects and a major investment in Geotech, a leading infrastructure and construction company. ACCIONA employs around 1,000 staff in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as regional locations, and continually invests in Australian skills and jobs.