• Women's Off-Road Rall
  • Women's Off-Road Rall

Green Motorsports: EV Category Added To All-Women’s Rally

Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc Morocco Off-Road Rally Gets Green

Last week, we published a story about Spanish energy firm Acciona returning to the Dakar Rally in South America for the third time with their all-electric off-roader named 100% EcoPowered.

Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc

EVs will face some real-world challenges

Now we are delighted to report that the all-women’s off-road rally, Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, has added an electric vehicle category for its 27th annual rally across Morocco’s southern desert.

Called “E-Gazelles,” on March 17 the battery electric off-roaders will join four-wheel drive trucks and crossovers, motorcycles and quads on a 1,5000-mile journey with a landscape of sand dunes, green valleys, mountains, fertile plains and arid plateaus.

There is no GPS, cellphones, binoculars or other means of communication permitted.

Participants are called Gazelles, and each morning they are handed a compass and a “Road Book,” which is a 1:100,000 scale map that shows geographic coordinates or headings and distances of that day’s checkpoints and finish line.

Studying the map and day’s geographical coordinates, teams decide the difficulties of the terrain and choose their own route.

Every Day a New Goal

Women's Off-Road Rall

EVs to join the desert battle

The daily goal is to drive the shortest path to reach specific checkpoints in the least amount of time. The driver and navigator have the choice of driving through sand dunes or avoid them, and they could choose to navigate over a mountain or drive around it.

The winners of each class of vehicles are not the fastest team, but the ones who traveled the least amount of miles between checkpoints within a given time frame.

Teams are constantly monitored by a satellite tracking system for safety reasons.

Unlike other international rallies, there is no prize money for participants.

Instead, money generated goes to the Rallye’s non-profit Cœur de Gazelles, which works on projects that meet the needs of Morocco’s remote populations: medical care, education, the environment, job training for women and improving living conditions.

Established in 1990, the Rallye has brought together women between the ages of 18 and 71 from more than 30 different countries.

Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc

Last year’s winners

The event is not only the first women-only off-road rally, it is the only rally that meets an ISO 14001 Environment Management System (EMS) standard, which is an internationally recognized environmental management standard taking into consideration the immediate and long-term environmental impacts of an organization’s products, services and processes.

An EV class adds a cherry on top.

Related Stories You Might Enjoy:

Green Motorsports: Acciona EV Off-roader

Green Motorsports: A Toyota Prius Racer with a V8

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About Author: Larry E. Hall

Larry E. Hall is the Editor-At-Large at Clean Fleet Report. His interest and passion for automobiles began at age 7, cleaning engine parts for his father, a fleet manager for a regional bakery. He has written about cars and the automobile industry for more than 25 years and has focused his attention on “green” cars and advanced technology vehicles. Larry’s articles have been published by Microsoft’s MSNBC.com and MSN Autos as their alternative vehicles correspondent, and is currently the Senior Editor at HybridCars.com. His work has appeared in metro and suburban newspapers as well as business publications and trade journals. He is the founding president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association and a member of the Motor Press Guild. Larry lives and drives in Olympia Wa. with his wife, Lynne, who shares his passion for cars.

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