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Dakar Rally’s race for green energy

25 January 2021

Dakar Rally organisers, ASO, is getting on track for all its race vehicles to be powered by green energy by 2030.

The ASO’s vision is to run a fully autonomous bivouac structure by 2024 alongside their plans for all race vehicles to be powered by green energy by 2030.

This year, Green Corp Konnection, an ecosystem of industrial companies at the heart of the transition to green energy, will showcase the future of mobility and green energy supply at this year’s Dakar Rally in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.

GCK Motorsport, the motorsport division of Green Corp Konnection, has developed a fully electric car, GCK e-Blast boasting a top speed of 180 kmh to drive at this year’s Dakar Rally in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.

The car, which has a max torque of 1000 Nm, lays the foundation for the development of GCK’s future vision of a cross-country hybrid combining hydrogen and electric.

The future GCK e-Blast H2 will be an evolution of the e-Blast 1, a hybrid powered both by battery and hydrogen. With the e-Blast 1 currently delivering 250 kilowatts, the work will initially focus on optimising the electric motor to allow it to reach 300kW. Meanwhile, the capacity of the battery pack will be reduced from 150kWh to 60kWh with a new cooling system being integrated to allow for quicker charging of the car. In parallel, a fuel cell specifically developed for this project will be powered by 25kg of 700-bar hydrogen stored in tailor-made tanks and will deliver 120kW of energy. GCK will be collaborating with a major player in the industry to create this innovative technology, with details of the partnership soon to be announced.

In addition, GCK Energy, a 2nd pillar to Green Corp Konnection,  has been appointed to pioneer the Dakar Rally’s green energy  transformation by installing a ‘green bivouac’ as part of this year’s Rally infrastructure in NEOM.

Over 630 solar panels cover 1’200m2 in total to produce between 1.2 Megawatts (MW) a day, due to GCK Energy’s bespoke mobile photovoltaic solution as well as the containerised solar field provided by local partner, Desert Technologies.

Using GCK Energy’s dedicated mobile storage solution manufactured in collaboration with longstanding partner Socomec, between 300kW and 600kW of energy are being collected and stored during daylight hours and distributed to provide much-needed energy to the bivouac at night and allowing for the GCK e-Blast 1 to be recharged.

Guerlain Chicherit, President of Green, Corp Konnection, commented, “We’re excited to play a pioneering part in the development of motorsport’s future sustainable transformation. It is no secret that the Dakar Rally is a huge passion of mine, and I’ve never stopped working on returning to it. Now, to be able to join ASO and the 2021 Dakar here in NEOM with GCK Motorsport and GCK Energy presenting a key stepping stone in the future of cross-country events of this scale is momentous for GCK and for me personally. Our vision is to encourage the move towards green technology across the globe and I’m very proud of what the GCK teams have created to present to you.”

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