Dakar targeting ‘end of combustion era’ in 2030

The 2021 Dakar Rally

The cars which compete in the Dakar Rally will solely powered by ‘alternative energies’ by 2030, under a plan for organisers.

Next year’s event will see the T1-E category for such vehicles contested for the first time, with Audi to field an all-electric prototype.

However, vehicles need not be electric, with T1-E open to those driven by “any technology focused on reducing carbon emissions”, including biofuels.

An infographic provided by organisers about “the end of the combustion era” shows that hydrogen-powered vehicles will be added to the category in 2023, with the aim that elite/priority competitors are in low-emission prototypes in 2026.

“The 2022 edition will mark the starting point of the plan to host a field of cars powered solely by alternative energies by 2030,” read communication issued with the 2022 route map.

“The disappearance of combustion engines will take place according to a progressive timetable subject to technological developments.

“Initially, this will involve the opening of a T1-E category for low-carbon emission prototypes. Constructors are currently developing these cars to make them as competitive as possible, starting with Audi, which plans to take on the challenge beginning in 2022.”

In the more immediate future, electronic roadbooks will be issued to elite riders in the bikes and quads fields, after being introduced for the cars, SSV, T3 and truck categories this year.

Those on bikes had continued to use scrolling paper books, with Toby Price winning Stage 1 of the 2020 event despite his tearing in two.

Scrutineering for Dakar 2022 starts on December 30, 2021, before the Prologue and Start Podium on New Year’s Day.

CLICK HERE for 2022 route

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