The 2020 5th Anniversary Edition of the Rebelle Rally launched the Electrified Designation. EV and PHEV vehicles competed in their respective 4×4 or X-Cross class. Today these vehicles are an important reality of the competition. Renewable Innovations in addition to taking care of the charging of EV and PHEV vehicles, also provide the sustainability of the base camps that are powered by solar energy.
Photography and Story by Paolo Baraldi
The Rebelle Rally is the only women longest competitive off-road navigation rally in the United States. The remote rally took place over 10 days and 2,500 kilometers of stunning roads, dirt roads, trails, dunes and designated open off-highway vehicle areas across Nevada and California. Teams of two – a driver and navigator – turn in their cell phones, GPS and Internet enabled devices and navigate their way to checkpoints of varying degrees of difficulty using only a compass, maps, and roadbooks. It is not a race for speed but precision driving and navigating.
Designed as the ultimate proving ground for stock manufacturer vehicles, there are two classes – 4×4 and X-Cross. Minimal modifications are allowed. From 2020 the organization has worked diligently to for the Electrified Designation – an authentic challenge for electric (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hybrids. The EV and PHEV teams do not compete in a separate class, but directly in their intended class with allowances for on course rapid charging.
“Since we first envisioned the Rebelle Rally, we knew it would be the ultimate true test of electrified vehicles available to consumers and we have worked tirelessly to make this happen,” explained Emily Miller, the rally’s founder. “Providing battery-based mobile rapid charging on course allows these vehicles to compete in the standard classes, an exciting and important component of the Electrified Designation.”
Rebelle Rally Eelectrified Designation is a ground-breaking
This program is designed carefully for EV and PHEV vehicles with attention to detail regarding range and fueling on course and in base camp. This program is currently limited in number and restricted to OEMs.
Rebelle Rally and Renewable Innovations Puts Off-Grid Green, Electric Vehicle Charging on Center Stage at the Longest Competitive Rally in the U.S.
Electrification is the next frontier for autos; an idea that was (and is) still met with resistance in various aspects of the industry. Not so at Rebelle, a rally that has always been ahead of the curve.
Launched in 2020, Rebelle Rally included a Electrified Designation, opening up the off-road challenge for EVs, plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids.
“Women of the Rebelle: from engineers to mothers, doctors, marketing professionals, students, and journalists, their reason to Rebelle varies but one thing’s for sure – they share the love of the challenge,” they tweeted. And that desire is what makes the women of Rebelle willing to break from the pack, and put the EVs to the test.
Additionally, Rebelle Rally teamed with green power leader Renewable Innovations (RI), who serve as key partner of the rally’s sustainability efforts. RI provides scalable green power any time, anywhere, and do so on site to provide services and juice to the Electrified Designation vehicles. Plus, they also power the base camps on the course with solar power.
This year, 7 teams in the 4x4 class with the electric designation took part in the Rebelle Rally: 3 Jeep Wrangler 4xe, 2 Toyota Tundra and 2 Rivian (1 pick up R1T and 1 R1S both EV).
Veteran Nena Barlow with Teralin Petereit won the rally in the 4x4 class aboard her Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe (PHEV). They also were the top-placing team in both the 4x4 Bone Stock and Electrified designations. The hybrid powertrain of the Wrangler 4xe combines a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo petrol with two electric units, a 17 kWh (400 Volt) high-voltage battery pack and an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. The Wrangler 4xe delivers 380 hp that allow you to sprint from 0 to 100 km / h in just 6.4 seconds and has a torque of 637 Nm.
For the first time in Rebelle history, a Toyota has graced the podium with Team #152 Toyota Way-Finders (Becky Brophy / Samantha Barber) in a 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid. They were the 2021 Rookies of the Year and returned to solidify their place in the Rally. The only modifications the women did to their Tundra were to add a skid plate and swap out their wheels and tires. As a personalization, Toyota also stamped the 2022 Rebelle Rally and Toyota Way-Finders logos into the metal of the truck making the vehicle truly one-of-a-kind. The 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid combines a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with an electric motor. The i-Force Max combines the power of the internal combustion engine with the electric one on the 10-speed automatic transmission to produce a total of 446 hp and 790 Nm of torque.
Rivian was the only car manufacturer to bring two fully electric vehicles to the Rebelle Rally; an R1T pickup and an R1S SUV. Rivian is a US automotive technology company founded in 2009. It develops vehicles, products and services related to sustainable transportation and has facilities in Plymouth, Michigan, Normal, Illinois, San Jose and Irvine, California, and the UK. In May 2018, Rivian said it had christened the future pickup with the code name A1T and the SUV with the code A1C. In November 2018 the pickup and SUV were renamed to R1T and R1S designed to be suitable for off-roading.
Lillian Macaruso and Alex Anderson took 4th place in the 4x4 Class aboard their R1T pickup.
The Rivian R1T is not afraid of off-roading thanks to the ground clearance of 37 cm. The 788 horsepower is transferred to the ground by 4 electric motors; one for each wheel. The 180kWh battery pack is able to guarantee more than 650 km of autonomy, and therefore reach practically anywhere. In this case, the Rivian R1T has a 0-100 acceleration in just 3.2 seconds. Two other battery packs with lower performance are available: a lighter one from 135kWh with a range of 500km and 0-100 acceleration in 3 seconds and last and less powerful 105kWh with a range of 370 km and 0-100 in acceleration. 4.9 seconds.
Rosanna Nuch and Nicole Johnson participated in the 4x4 Class with the R1S SUV.
The mechanical basis of the R1S is the same as the R1T. The four independent electric motors together provide 788 engine horsepower. However, the available power varies depending on the battery.
Remotely Powering Electrified Vehicles with Hydogen at Rebelle Rally
The electric vehicle market is rapidly advancing, but much of the focus has been in densely populated areas with short drives and abundant low power charging stations. The Rebelle Rally could not be a greater contrast, covering over 2,500 kilometers of remote terrain over eight days of competition. “I have always wanted to include electric and hybrid vehicles in the rally, but it wasn’t feasible without a partner like Renewable Innovations,” Rebelle Rally founder Emily Miller confided.The Electrified Designation was introduced at the Rebelle Rally in 2020 as a proof of concept, with two initial entries. The goal of the Rally and founder was to provide a real world test for electrified vehicles. “This is a proving ground,” Miller explained. “It’s important for electric vehicles and all manufacturers who are interested in testing their vehicles in the crucible of competition.” One of the many distinctions between the Rebelle Rally and traditional off-road racing is that the competing vehicles are completely stock - not modified racecars. These are four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles that people drive every day. The rally puts the electrified vehicles in a head-to-head competition and not in a separate vehicle class. The event isn’t based on overall speed but a points competition based on smart driving and precise navigation, leveling the playing field for EVs and PHEVs to compete directly against combustion engine vehicles.
Rebelle Rally and Renewable Innovations puts off-grid Green, electric vehicle charging on center stage at the longest competitive off-road rally in the U.S.
The partnership with Renewable Innovations bring remote powering of electric vehicles with hydrogen in extremely remote locations,and deliver green power to base camps via a 53-foot Mobile Energy Command-Solar (MEC-S) providing 50 kilowatts of peak power.
“As partners, we are delivering upon our shared vision and commitment to scalable, remote, renewable power. For the Rebelle Rally, this is the most extensive mobile, grid-free, green rapid charging and renewable operations we know to exist at this magnitude," said Robert Mount RI CEO. “And better yet, it is showcasing and testing the vehicles that consumers actually can buy, not prototypes.”
Clean energy for vehicle charging at the rebelle Rally is provided tank the Mobile Energy Command - Hydrogen Powered EV Rapid Charging (MEC-H2EV) that is delivering power where and when it is needed across the rugged and remote terrain of the Rally. Even under normal circumstances, this type of rapid charge capability for EVs is rarely available from locations with access to vast utility sources. But the MEC-H2EV delivers EV charging with its mobile, rapid power generation capability anytime, anywhere.
The MEC is mobile energy generated, storage, managed and delivery capable of delivering:
360 kW of DC rapid charge
240kW of H2 FC Power
440 kWh of battery capacity
560 kW of AC Power
1/4 MW generation capability with H2 Fuel Cells
Green base camps at Rebelle Rally with solar Energy pwered by Renewable Innovations
The Electrified competitors aren’t the only ones who benefit from Renewable Innovations’ technology though. Rebelle Rally base camps are powered by the Mobile Energy Command-Solar (MEC-S). This 53-foot mobile powerplant features high density solar panels and Smartflowers on each side that follow the sun through its path across the sky to deliver 50 kilowatts of peak power, and 250 kWhs of battery storage. Enough to power 6 homes all day long.
About Renewable Innovations
Our goal at Renewable Innovations is to accelerate the growth and opportunities within the renewable economy. Our team of industry leaders brings extensive experience and invaluable connections across the Renewable, Hydrogen, and Alternative Energy sectors. Along with our partners, investors, and clients, we are making major technological advancements with products and solutions to lead the world into a new and exciting carbon-free future.
Learn more at www.renewable-innovations.com.
About Rebelle Rally
The Rebelle Rally is the longest competitive off-road rally in the United States. Traversing over 2,500 kilometers through Nevada and California’s iconic terrain, it is an endurance competition for women consisting of precision driving and navigating - not fastest speed. The competition is innovative and unique, using maps, compass, roadbooks and strategy - known as Rebelle Format. GPS and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited. Remote and off-grid for eight competition days, the Rebelle Rally is considered a providing ground for people, products and stock manufacturer vehicles.
To learn more, visit www.rebellerally.com.