The Dakar Rally is a grueling environment for any vehicle and for the humans who pilot them. 2017 was no exception, with rain and mudslides wreaking havoc upon the 5,600-mile race through Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay, forcing more than a quarter of the cars to drop out. In the end, it was Peugeot driver Stephane Peterhansel who took a close victory in the Cars category over teammate Sebastien Loeb. But further back in the standings, Spanish energy company Acciona made history as its EV became the first zero-emissions car to finish the Dakar Rally.

The '100% EcoPowered' – as the 4x4 is called – is powered by a 250-kW electric motor, capable of producing 590 pound-feet of torque. Six battery modules, each with the capability to charge independently to make for shorter stops, provide 150 kWh of energy. A roof-mounted, 100-watt solar panel helps provide energy throughout the race.

2017 marked Acciona's third attempt at the race. While the 100% EcoPowered finished 57th overall in its category, finally crossing the finish line is a victory for crewmates Ariel Jatón and Tito Rolón, as well as for Acciona's research and development team, which considered the Dakar entry a "sustainability challenge." The successful completion proved that a battery-powered car can compete in some of the toughest environments on earth without directly producing a single gram of harmful emissions.

"The odyssey is over," says Acciona driver Ariel Jatón. "This year's Dakar was very tough, with some very intense stages complicated by the weather, and the altitude in Bolivia. It was the most grueling race in South America, so we are thrilled to have reached the finish line, particularly in an electric car."

See highlights of the Acciona EV in action in the video above.

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