But what about rallies? Is it a modality where this type of vehicle has been able to enter? The reality is that yes, and in a good way, too. And the best of all is that with it we can count on different classes, partly thanks to new technologies and the great experiences we have told. This has given that it is not only the cars that can participate, but also other electrified formats. However,what do we understand by a rally and how do they join the electric ones?
What is a rally
In the motor world, a rally is a sports competition of speed and endurance in which vehicles of any type can participate, usually motor and cars. This can be developed either by road or track, but with the particularity that they are usually done on complicated roads.
This type of racing mode is quite different from, for example, asphalt competition such as, for example, Formula 1 or Formula E, which are done on a prepared circuit or track.
In the case of this competition, the rally, which can also be with electric vehicles, consists of complete a certain itinerary, generally in stages, in which different tests or controls are passed without exceeding the preset time limit. These itineraries usually correspond to roads or other roads that are normally open to traffic and not to specific circuits designed to carry out the test.
Features and Benefits
In this type of competition, what is sought is that they are races that fulfill their purpose: endurance. As we say, speed is very present, but what determines that one car, driver or team is better than another is dictated by the state of the vehicle. Hence, it has several characteristics that make it a unique engine specialty.
- The main objective of this type of race is to complete the course in the shortest possible time.
- The races are held on roads that can normally be used by anyone but they close so that the test can be developed.
- The race is divided into sections and the result obtained in each of them is recorded individually. The scores are then added together to obtain the final ranking.
- The sections do not have to be contiguous each other (in fact, it is not usual). This causes, as a curiosity, that while the participating vehicles travel these intermediate areas they must comply with the traffic regulations and share the roads with the rest of the drivers until they reach the next section.
This would be, in general terms, what we can find today with this type of racing. Can be of cars, rally-raid, more extreme, of motorcycles … and now with the particularity that they are made electric, or what is the same: they have adopted the competitions to vehicles that work with batteries.
Among the advantages of electric mobility are the reduction in cost per kilometer, which is substantially lower than that of combustion engine vehicles, and the fact that electric vehicles do not pollute, since they do not emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Noise pollution is also eliminated, an aspect to be taken into account especially in large cities.
Companies are increasingly incorporating more eco-friendly vehicles into their fleets. In fact, most of the companies and brands that participate do so for a subsequent movement to those that are street vehicles. The reason? That this type of racing, as it requires more durable components, requires technologies that make them more reliable.
This results in the different parts that will later appear in day-to-day vehicles to be shown with absolute robustness and resistance, especially taking into account that electrical systems still have a wide margin for improvement and development to look like leading mobility tools.
Types and competitions
For manufacturers, participating in championships goes beyond the desire to accumulate trophies. The circuits are an unbeatable test track, not only for recording times, but also for validate the viability of new technologies that can then be applied to those street models. It happens with cars, with motorcycles, and also with raid-rally cars.
Because, in addition to four wheels, we also have two. Through the desert, the earth, the sand, the mountains … thus, we can find different types depending on different factors such as the type of road on which it is circulated, the type of vehicles that are used or the type of competition to which the pilots face.
On the other hand, and depending on the modality, the electric rally races also do because the driver is accompanied by a co-pilot, in the case of the cars, which are the ones that give them the express indications of each curve, speed and conditions that may meet.
In general, this is the best known when it comes to rallying. Expressly for cars, it is the ever-present World Rally Car, which has now gone from traditional engines to a hybrid format for the first time in its history. In this way, and setting itself apart from the rest, it is one of the public’s favorites for what has to do with the engine at its best.
Emotion, adrenaline, passion … and now also in charge of a technology that will tend to be quieter. More aggressive, they will be cars with all-wheel drive and five speeds. The single level type differential, no center differential, just a kinematic drivetrain.
From these hybrid systems, they will deliver as peak power 514 hp thanks to its new hybrid powertrains. That number of horses obviously gives us the simple account of adding the 380 hp currently provided by internal combustion engines, which will maintain their main characteristics as they are four-cylinder and 1.6-liter with turbo. In this case, they will be accompanied by the 100 kW and 180 Nm of torque (adding the 134 hp that is missing) provided by the plug-in hybrid units designed by Compact Dynamics.
Unlike the World Rally Championship that will now mount hybrid technologies, and therefore will be rally cars with electric systems, the E-Cup is entirely for 100% electrified cars. Called the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup, it is only a short year old, also motivated by the direction taken by the FIA with the WRC.
Your cover letter, therefore, is to be the first single brand cup rally event that takes place on a fully electric vehicle. With only one model, the Opel Corsa-e, it is equipped with a 100 kW (136 hp) and 260 Nm of maximum torque, and its lithium-ion battery and 50 kWh capacity.
As far as batteries are concerned, we find a rally model that is identical to the one mounted on the street electric Opel Corsa. The energy storage capacity of 50 kWh, which gives it a autonomy of 337 km.
The World Rallycross is also electrified. This attractive specialty, which has come to have recognized general car brands in its ranks, adapts to the new times and from 2022 its Supercars will be electric.
These will develop up to 680 hp of power thanks to an electrical kit, which can be installed in current combustion cars, consisting of two motors per axle, two inverters and a 52.65 kWh battery. Likewise, it is also a competition that is supported by the International Automobile Federation.
Given this, it was the FIA itself that has launched an electric Rallycross Junior Championship in parallel. This is a lower category that will have QEV Technologies engineering as a promoter. The vehicles in this competition will be built on a tubular chassis, will be fully electric, will have four-wheel drive, and will equip a 32 kWh battery inside that will develop more than 330 hp power.
MX Woodstock Rally
Moving on to two wheels, in the same way that we can count on a car championship like the WRC, in the motorcycle category there is the electric rally itself with which they have taken a further step in the specification of these races. Original from the United States, they are mechanics that can also be seen in Enduro but adapted to sustainability.
Thus, they can reach the 130-150 kW (174 hp) power. Known as Red Bull’s MX Woodstock, it brings together bikers, stunt riders, riders, and all those who are involved in the motorcycle world at the famous Glen Helen Raceway.
And he receives them with clay. Sand mud, of course. The event also involves fans, who can participate if they wish in a motocross festival, which is suitable for all ages, abilities and sizes.
Kaktus Rally e-Bike
Recognized more as a championship with high demands, it is the one that is the attraction among e-bike competitions, and that responds really well to all cycling enthusiasts, especially those looking for a somewhat more challenging experience in the mountains.
It is a type of rally of more than 100 kilometers concentrated in just 27 hours, with selective sectors of the most varied in landscape, type of road, configuration and mileage; and including, of course, a timed night special.
Finally, the newcomer and the newest, the Extreme E. This is also a rally competition (to the extreme) where its vehicles are 100% electric. Founded by the Spanish Alejandro Agag, a well-known businessman in the sector thanks to his links with Formula 1 and the creation of Formula E, of which he is a founding partner and current CEO.
The idea was in the same vein, being able to race with electric cars, only this time outside the circuits and in environments off road highly demanding. As in other competitions, all teams will have the same car.
In this case it is an electric model called Odyssey 21 that has some similarities to off-road rally test vehicles such as the Dakar. The car is a Fully electric SUV developed by Spark Racing Technology company.
With an off-road structure, they have a power of 400 kW (550 hp) of power, 1,650 kilos of weight and 2.3 meters of width. They are capable of going from 0 to 100 kilometers / hour in 4.3 seconds. The goal was to design a car that could adapt to all surfaces and would perform well. All cars are the same and teams can only make changes.