The 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race will see a nod to the future with Acciona bringing an innovative electric rally car to Australia for the first time, showcasing how renewable energy can be competitive in the toughest conditions.

In 2017 the car made history, becoming the first zero-emissions vehicle to complete the Dakar Rally. Since then it’s gone on to finish several other qualifiers for the FIA World Rallycross Championship, including the Italian Baja and Morocco rallies.

The car is 100% EcoPowered and will be driven by two female motorsport experts – Andrea Peterhansel and Emma Clair in Australia’s toughest desert race, June 8-11.

Seasoned competition drivers Peterhansel and Clair will also be making their Australian debut and will be resuming a partnership formed in last year’s Baja Italia rally. Peterhansel has participated in over 60 rallies, including in the Dakar 10 times, while Clair is Bajas TT world champion in quad.

President of the Finke Desert Race committee, Antony Yoffa, believes there will be much anticipation around the first EcoPowered rally car competing at the event.

“We look forward to seeing how the first 100% renewable car holds up competing at this year’s Finke Desert Race.

“Being Australia’s toughest desert race, it’s not going to be easy but we’re excited to welcome the innovation and potentially the future of rallying to Alice Springs,” Yoffa said.

Built entirely in Spain, the car is the result of over five years’ research and development work. It’s very powerful for an electric car, with a 250kW synchronous electric motor equivalent to 340 horsepower, and is driven by eight fast-charging lithium battery modules plus a 100W solar panel. All the car’s power needs and recharging capabilities serviced by its 6X6 assistance truck.

“The car’s participation in the Finke demonstrates the competitiveness of renewable energy,” said Brett Wickham, Managing Director ACCIONA Energy Australia. “It’s a glimpse of the future of rallying – electric, green and tough.”

“Unlike the other participants in the rally, ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered is driven exclusively by clean energy and does not use a drop of fossil fuel.”

They will be supported by technical and sporting director Ariel Jatón, who made rally history by finishing the Dakar rally in the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered in 2017.

The Tatts Finke Desert Race will take place 8-11 June, 2018.