Opel has been electrifying rallying with the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup “powered by GSe” and the Opel Corsa Rally Electric since 2021. The unique concept is full of innovations and one of them is the mobile charging infrastructure of the world’s first electric one-make rally cup. The brief was clear: a sustainable solution had to be found; generators have no place in the philosophy of the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup. The charging solution had to be powerful, flexible and user-friendly to meet the high demands of a rally.
In the selection process, the mobile solution of the company eLoaded from Germany finally prevailed. The energy is fed from the public medium or low-voltage grid and distributed to the charging units via a “DCBus”. This significantly reduces energy losses between the grid and the charging plug on the electric vehicle. Also, the mobile concept is not subject to transport restrictions.
The charging infrastructure for the ADAC Opel e Rally Cup, which was developed together with Opel Motorsport, uses renewably generated electricity from the public power grid. The medium current drawn is fed into a transformer specially adapted for rally use (“DCSource”), the so-called Power House. This converts the incoming alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC) and supplies maximum power of 2.0 megawatts to 18 charging points, one of which is located at the service tent of each Cup car. The charging system is so flexible that it could supply energy to cars at up to 500 amperes in a range from 200 to a maximum 980 volt. The Corsa Rally Electric can charge with 100 kW direct current (DC). The rally car’s 50-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery will be 80 per cent full in less than 30 minutes. Even during a shorter service, this means that recharging of the 216 battery cells for the next special stages is no problem.
In addition, the charging points are not tied to a fixed structure but can be placed freely and independently of each other. The eLoaded system is modular in design and therefore offers individual adaptation to the respective needs of the user and a correspondingly wide range of applications – including use on a rally service area. Thanks to special quick-release fasteners, the cabling can be established in no time and the entire system can be set up and dismantled within a day.
“The selection of a charging infrastructure suitable for the needs of the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup ‘powered by GSe’ was an elaborate process,” explains Opel Motorsport boss, Jörg Schrott. “Some solutions, which initially appeared promising, proved unsuitable in practice. The mobile charging infrastructure from eLoaded is clearly the best concept. They quickly understood what was important and together we developed a system that is sustainable, powerful and flexible. The system has proved itself in every way in the past three seasons. It ensures a consistent and constant charging performance for all the cars; this is essential for a one-make cup in which it is vital that conditions are identical for all competitors. The whole set-up is also very reliable. The competitors arrive at the rally, plug the cables in and the electricity flows.”