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article imageElectric vehicle to compete in Dakar Rally

Dutch driver Tim Coronel will attempt in January 2012 to drive across the Dakar Rally finish line in the first electric vehicle ever to compete on the famously grueling course that runs through South America over diversely extreme hostile terrains.
Though the Dakar Rally began in Senegal, North Africa as a race between Dakar and Paris, the competitors now drive through Argentina, Chile and Peru over 9,000 kilometers of mud, stones and sand dunes, and consider just finishing the course a win.
Alister McRae, brother of the well-known rally driver Colin McRae, is convinced the ultra-light electric vehicle being adapted by his international team from the petrol-powered ProDakar McRae Buggy 4x2 (that has finished the Dakar Rally twice) can make it next year all the way over the unforgiving, extra-rugged course.
McRae's team joins ProDakar with All Green Vehicles and the Technical Universities of Delft.
Their new electric buggy will be powered by a 54-kilowatt-hour Lithium Ion battery through a permanent-magnet motor limited to 120 Newton-meters of torque, rated at 200 kilowatts of power, but weighing in under 40 kilograms.
To maximize the electric racer's range over the course's hostile and unpredictable terrain, the buggy will sport a 3-setting energy-management system: full attack, standard and eco.
Also, the vehicle's aerodynamically streamlined body will help lengthen driving periods between pauses for battery re-charging or battery-pack replacing. A fast-charge process is in the works.
During previous years, injuries and deaths of Dakar Rally participants and spectators showed the world just how tough it can be to get from start to finish in this race.
The 2012 Dakar Rally happens between January 1 and 15 and McRae's team remains confident their eco-friendly electric buggy will cover the territory.
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