The Acciona ‘100% EcoPowered’ car has arrived in Australia ahead of the 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race later this month.
The car is fuelled by eight fast-charging lithium battery modules and a 100W solar panel that power the 250kW synchronous electric motor, which is equivalent to a 300 HP combustion engine.
The engine is also more viable than a regular car with the current motor having completed more than 28,000 competitive kilometres including some of the toughest off road races around the world including Dakar and Baja in Italy.
In 2017, the car became the first all-electric vehicle to complete the Dakar Rally on its third attempt, a feat that is regarded as one of the hardest challenges to compete.
With the car now touring Australia, the brainchild of the car, Ariel Jatón is keen to get the car to every continent around the world with the Tatts Finke Desert Race the next major event to tick off.
“We want to take this project all around the world, we have had three continents already. Now we do Australia and next is China,” Jatón said.
“At Finke, we probably won’t compete towards the front of the race with this particular car because it was very restricted in meeting the regulations.
“But I am sure that with the technology that already exists, but one day 100 per cent electronic cars competing at the top will happen.”
Jatón is no amateur when it comes to building cars, having built more than 200 cars himself, but for this particular car and the future of electronic cars, the Argentine has one goal in mind.
“Our goal is to open a whole new category for cars with this technology,” Jatón explained.
“We have been able to demonstrate that this car can compete so it would be great if this sets up the opportunity for anyone in the future to create an e-car.
“Once you understand how the technology works he said it’s a lot easier than combustion engine.”
While Jatón’s goal may seem more likely to happen in the future, Acciona ‘s recent test day at the Ballarat Light Car Club’s Autocross track gave people an opportunity to experience the car, including Australian TV personality, Shane Jacobson.
Jacobson, who is an ambassador for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and self-proclaimed rev head, was blown away with the car and its potential.
“We’re witnessing a game changer here because it is it is going to compete in a desert race and it’s an electric car. It’s very exciting,” Jacobson said.
“It’s a thrilling vehicle and as a motoring enthusiast, I would say it’s not about the future because the future is now. It’s on doorstep.
“The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport has made room for this electric car to end up in a race, so to get to what it is like behind the wheel of that is great.
“It’s like playing golf with Greg Norman or playing cricket with Don Bradman. We’re driving an electric car. I’m so excited.”
With so many people like Jacobson showing interest and support of the car, Jatón can be nothing but proud of his baby and what it has achieved thus far.
“People refer to me as the father of the creature but I feel more like its mother because I gave birth to it,” Jatón laughed.
The Acciona ‘100% EcoPowered’ car will be piloted by Andrea Peterhansel, a 10-time Dakar starter and co-driver Emma Clair, a dual quad bike world champion, with Jatón to serve as sporting and technical director.
The Tatts Finke Desert Race is the second round of the CAMS BFGoodrich Austraian Off Road Championship taking place in the Northern Territory on 9 – 10 June.