Ac­ciona re­turns to Dakar Rally with elec­tric car

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Span­ish en­ergy firm Ac­ciona said yes­ter­day it will com­pete in the Dakar Rally next month in Latin Amer­ica for the third straight year with the only elec­tric ve­hi­cle of the gru­el­ing off-road race. “Next Jan­uary in Asuncion (Paraguay) we will once again cross the start­ing line of the Dakar, and we will again be the only zero emis­sions ve­hi­cle,” the com­pany said in a state­ment. “We com­pete in Dakar 2017 with an elec­tric ve­hi­cle be­cause we be­lieve 100% in the po­ten­tial of re­new­able en­ergy,” it added on the Face­book page of its Dakar Rally team.

Some 316 ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing 83 cars and 146 mo­tor­bikes, are regis­tered for the 39th Dakar Rally, which will be staged over nearly 9,000 kilo­me­ters (5,600 miles) from Jan­uary 214 in Ar­gentina, Bo­livia and Paraguay. The race will set off from the Paraguayan cap­i­tal of Asuncion, with race sport­ing di­rec­tor Marc Coma promis­ing “the tough­est edi­tion in the his­tory of South Amer­i­can rally-raid­ing”. Ac­ciona en­tered its car in the 2015 Dakar Rally, mak­ing it the first zero-emis­sions ve­hi­cle to com­pete in the event, but it pulled out af­ter just three days due to a nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem mal­func­tion.

The Team Ac­ciona car, which fea­tures a lithium bat­tery pack that is sup­ple­mented by solar pan­els, was dis­qual­i­fied from the 2016 Dakar Rally af­ter it failed to make it to the start line for the 11th stage on time. Founded in 1997, Madrid-based Ac­ciona fo­cuses on the de­vel­op­ment and man­age­ment of re­new­able en­ergy projects and in­fra­struc­ture around the world. It posted a net profit of 348 mil­lion Eu­ros ($364 mil­lion) dur­ing the first nine months of the year, more than dou­ble the 166 mil­lion eu­ros it made dur­ing the same pe­riod last year. —AFP

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