For the first time an electric car has completed the Dakar rally
It came dead last but that's still a lot better than a quarter of entrants who fail to even finish the formidable 5,600 km long event.
The Spanish made Acciona puts out 340 horses and the massive 150kWh battery pack in its belly gives 200km of range under racing conditions. The battery can be fully charged in 60 minutes. An hour seems like a long time but 150kWh is roughly what an average American house uses in a week.
I am very excited to see how EVs progress over time in this competition. If other races are any indication we are set to see rapid and solid progress.
In 2011 at the Pike's Peak Hill Climb Nobuhiro Tajima's electric race car set itself on fire. Not a great start. In 2015 electric cars placed first and second winning setting record times in all classes.
In the five years between 2010 and 2015 average speeds for electric motorcycles at The Isle of Man TT Zero race went up 23%.
We are going to see significant improvements to battery energy density and charge times in the next 4-5 years. Along with greatly reduced complexity and inherently better reliability of these types of vehicles they have the potential to be very competitive in this style of endurance racing.http://www.treehugger.com/cars/electric-car-first-zero-emissions-vehicle-finish-dakar-rally.html