Extreme E’s electric SUV will make a number of appearances as part of this month’s Dakar Rally with Guerlain Chicherit behind the wheel.
The car, named Odyssey 21, will be driven by Chicherit during shakedown for the legendary rally event and will later be on display at the Jeddah Dakar Village between Thursday and Saturday this week.
It will also open the Qiddyah Grand Prix on Jan. 17, the final special stage that wraps up the 2020 edition of the Dakar Rally.
Extreme E’s appearance at the Dakar is in support of the event’s ongoing commitment to alternative energy solutions. Chicherit has been chosen to drive the car based on his previous experience in the event and other cross-country rallies.
Testing has already started for Extreme E ahead of its debut in January 2021, and has so far included a week-long test with tire partner Continental at Chateau de Lastours.
In addition to its Dakar appearance this month, the car will later go through a full testing program in Saudi Arabia on a range of landscapes and surfaces, including sand dunes, canyons and mountain ranges.
Chicherit Already Has EV Racing Links
Chicherit brings prior experience in electric motorsport to his Extreme E demonstration drive, having set up a mobile energy solutions company alongside his current FIA World Rallycross Championship team GC Kompetition.
His subsidary company GCK Energy has been appointed official energy supplier for electric cars in FIA World RX and the FIA Junior eRX Championship beginning in 2021, meanwhile.
“I’ve invested a lot into sustainable technology and solutions these past few years and Extreme E has decided to challenge what has previously been done in electric motorsport and to push the limits of technology to inspire the future, which really aligns with me and my projects,” he said.
“I haven’t actually driven the Odyssey 21 yet, so doing so for the first time as part of the preparations for the 2020 Dakar was an opportunity I couldn’t miss out on.
“To this day, Dakar has given me some of the best memories, challenges and taught me many lessons, and I am pleased to see the organisers shining a spotlight on alternative energy mobility this year by inviting the Odyssey 21 E-SUV and a number of other electric and hybrid vehicles to be part of the 2020 Dakar.”
The first stage of the Dakar Rally will take place on Sunday along the western coast of Saudi Arabia, with the route crossing the country before finishing in Qiddyah on Jan. 17.