|SA-Dakar 2012: OSCar Team to start with first electric-powered 4x4-Dakar rallycar.|
Whilst alternative fuels are often experimented on the Dakar, a project supported by the Latvian government is amongst the most ambitious of initiatives. The "Latvian Dakar Team" and Andris Dambis, the project founder, will start with the first Electric-Hybrid 4x4-racecar in the Southamerica-Dakar Rally 2012. Dambis will co-pilot the "Oscar eO", a second OScar will start with regular fuel engine.
This joy will have extra symbolic value for Maris Saukans and Andris Dambis, who will be behind the wheel of a 4x4 with a fully electric engine. As a result, the sporting challenge goes hand in hand with a technological challenge for Team Latvia, who will be presenting a ground-breakingvehicle under the code-name "OSCar eO", built from A to Z in less than a year.
"We’ve escalated its capabilities several times during development," admits Dambis. "The car is powered by an electric engine that has an operating range of around 800 km and a maximum speed of 150 kmph."
"We have adapted it to the constraints of the terrains encountered on the Dakar and we will be using the most advanced processes available at the current time. In spite of that, the long stages, sand, dust and heat will really be problematic. Whatever happens, perseverance and thoroughness will be vital to make this adventure a successful one."
The "OSCar eO" is fully equipped mit engines and batteries. 16 temperature-resistant Winston-Hightech batteries will produce 512 Volt and 52 kWh, this will power an electric-engine with 150-335 kW power and 400-800 Nm torque. Also the KERS-brakes will spend some energy.
If the distances will be too long for the batteries, a Nissan V6-Engine and 200 litres of petrol are additionally aboard. But the petrol-powered engine is only to support the electric-engine - "we will drive 100 % electric" Dambis said.
Armed with unfailing confidence, Saukans are Dambis are aware of how difficult their task will be, bearing in mind that between them they have completed the Dakar in Africa and South America. In particular, they are attentive to the impact of a possible success in Lima.
"We want to prove that electric vehicles can be competitive. That said, we’ll already be very satisfied just to get to the finishing 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".
2011/12/02 | 17:52 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/ASO/HS