Battery car taking on the Dakar

2011-12-12 08:41

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."

  • don.ruffels - 2011-12-12 10:31

    Great we need alternative fuels in our world today. Apart from our environment being destroyed by the increased combustable cars causing some of the earths warming problems - the world these days cannot even afford the rising prices of petrol (gas for our USA friends). I for one will be watching your progress in the Dakar Rally - completion gives hope for the future. It took the Wright brothers a short flight in their flying invention (12second flight 1903 and then 5 minute flight in 1904) was a break through for their future. Because of the Wright brothers today the Boeing 787 can fly with a maximum takeoff weight: 219540 kg. I can see "Battery cars" are ready for our future transportation methods on our roads today.

  • cyaer - 2011-12-12 11:04

    Joule and VW should join forces and we make our own.

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