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Battery car taking on the Dakar

2011-12-12 08:41

POWER SURGE: The OSCar eO from Team Latvia will contest the 2012 Dakar Rally on electric power only.

The annual Dakar Rally is often a hotbed of experimentation but this project supported by the Latvian government is perhaps among the most ambitious yet...

Andris Dambis and Maris Saukans will take to take on some of the most daunting terrain in the world in fully electric 4x4 “OSCar eO” produced in Dambis’s workshops.

The race, which also represents a technical challenge for Team Latvia, will be the true test for the eO, which was built from scratch in less tha a year - something of which the SA government and its battery-car cash-swallowering Joule might take note...

The car is powered by an electric motor that claims to have an an operating range of around 800km and a maximum speed of 150km/h.


Building it was a challenge, Dambis admits. "We've escalated its capabilities several times during development. We have adapted it to the constraints of the terrain to be encountered on the Dakar, and we will be using the most advanced processes available.

"Despite that, the long stages, sand, dust and heat will really be problematic. Whatever happens, perseverance and thoroughness will be vital to make this adventure successful."

Saukans and Dambis, who between them have completed nine Dakars in Africa and South America, have a new goal in mind for the 2012 challenge.  "We want to prove that electric vehicles can be competitive. That said, we'll already be very satisfied just to get to the finish line.

"It won't be easy, but it can be done. We'll be pioneers and I believe that alternative fuels, like all the ideas that follow this same logic, sit perfectly with the general state of mind of the Dakar."

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