DAKAR RALLY WORKS TOWARDS SAUDI 2030 GOALS

Dakar is getting involved in a huge programme that brings together the entire rally raid community in an effort to make sure that all the vehicles on the grid are powered by low-emission energies from 2030.

In terms of showcasing a country, motor sports events have, over the decades, been recognised as a key driver for tourism, placing the spotlight on the villages and local landscapes – particularly, of course, in the world of rallying.

However, negative criticism has been growing over the years due to the contradiction between a nation’s stated aims in terms of sustainability and carbon footprint, and the massive amount of fuel burned up during a rally.

DAKAR RALLY WORKS TOWARDS SAUDI 2030 GOALS

The ambitious “DakarFuture” energy transition plan thus has two main planks: the engines powering the cars and trucks in the race and the emissions related to the logistics of the organisation.

By 2026, all the vehicles driven by Elite competitors in the car and truck categories of the Dakar will be subject to new ultra-low emission standards.

Already in January of this year, a historical test run of a sustainable bivouac took place in Neom. It was the first step in a transformational project that aims to create a bivouac 100% powered exclusively by renewable energy.

Dakar
Bivouac during the 8th stage of the Dakar 2021 between Sakaka and Neom, in Saudi Arabia on January 11, 2021 – Photo Charly Lopez © A.S.O./C.Lopez

At a press conference held after stage 9 of the 2021 edition in Neom, the organisers set out the Dakar’s vision for fostering green innovation in the world of rally raids.

Redefining sustainability, Neom’s announcement of “The Line”, confirmed a city comprising carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100% clean energy, providing pollution-free, healthier and more sustainable environments for residents. Mixed-use communities will be built around nature, instead of over it.

Four ongoing projects chasing this ambitious goal have been presented:

  • – Sven Quandt, CEO of Q-Motorsport, the team running the cars for Audi Sport at the Dakar 2022 unveiled a project to develop a fully electric vehicle developed by Audi Sport.
  • – Green Corp Konnection’s CEO, Eric Boudot pledged to field a hydrogen-powered car in the 2023 Dakar with GCK Motorsport. 
  • – Cyril Despres and Mike Horn chose the same year to enter the race with their own hydrogen-powered car, Gen-Z.
  • – Finally, Christophe Gaussin, CEO of Gaussin Group, revealed the H2 Road Truck, a hydrogen-powered truck intended to be on the start line of the 2022 Dakar.

PHOTO – TOP OF PAGE: Audi RS Q e-tron – being prepared for Dakar 2022 – Copyright: Audi Communications Motorsport / Malte Christians

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