Here’s an interesting tidbit: Amidst all the hoopla over the 2020 Dakar Rally and its move to Saudi Arabia, an electric motorcycle manufacturer has decided to use this rally as an opportunity to show off its electric motorcycle.
Tacita, an Italian manufacturer of electric motorcycles, has announced its plans to plans to debut its 2020 rally machine at the Dakar Rally.
It’s an unusual choice, but it’s an unusual motorcycle. Dubbed the T-Race Rally, it’s a rally-style bike, instead of the enduro or MX machines you usually see EV makers building. Tacita also has those machines in the lineup, though (the T-Race Enduro and T-Race Cross).
Tacita’s been developing this machine for years, and actually entered it at the Morocco Rally all the way back in 2012. However, it’s never been at the Dakar before. So, they’re bringing it to Saudi Arabia.
And that’s where the problems start: the reason nobody else is building electric rally bikes is because rally bikes need to be able to travel long distances unsupported, and that’s one thing electric motorcycles are really bad at. For that reason, Tacita isn’t actually putting the bike in the full rally event: they’re only entering it in the short Qiddiyah Trophy section, which is a 20-km event that doesn’t impact the overall standings.
Tacita claims the current-gen version of the T-Race Rally has a range of almost 220 km, but will not be running the bike in any of the longer stages. However, its Facebook page made mention of teams for the 2021-2023 Dakar events, so maybe that’s in the cards for next year?
Tacita is also powering the bike via solar energy, with a support truck carrying solar panels to recharge the bike. No word on whether the truck itself is also solar-powered.