In 2021, the Dakar announced the launch of a far-reaching energy transition programme called "Dakar Future". This gradual energy transition has two main planks: the transformation of the engines powering the cars and trucks in the race and the use of renewable energy to power an innovative bivouac.
The Dakar is determined to consolidate its status as an open-air lab to stimulate, test and validate the technical advances made by the constructors in the knowledge that the race vehicles of today drive the development of the production vehicles of tomorrow. These changes will be introduced at a gradual pace in three stages leading up to 2030:
- As soon as 2022, a specific "renewable power" category will be created to put the focus on competitors racing in hybrid, electric or hydrogen-powered cars and trucks, as well as those who implement other emission-slashing technologies. The sporting rules will be adjusted to strike the right balance and make sure every project is competitive.
- In 2026, all the vehicles driven by Elite competitors in the car and truck categories will be subject to new ultra-low emission standards.
- In 2030, the car and truck categories will be restricted to low-emission vehicles.
As well as cutting-edge technologies, the Dakar has thrown its weight behind a wide-ranging transformation project aiming to create a 100% renewable-powered bivouac. A test run was be held in the bivouac in NEOM in 2021. For two days, the press room and the briefing room giant screen, among other parts of the camp, were powered by cutting-edge solar panel technology that combined energy production, storage and redistribution in one neat package. Other milestones will be reached step by step before achieving the goal of making the bivouacs energy self-sufficient by 2025.