This is neither confirmed news nor is it something that the organizers of the grueling race are planning for come the year 2015. But this very well could be the way Dakar Rally goes considering the shape which auto industry is taking and with growing prices and demand for fossil fuel. This is nothing beyond a concept impression of an artist with flowing eco-juices and it depicts a future rough race that is powered by renewable resources and the solar-powered Volvo will be one of the prime contenders, hopefully!
The concept is based on a hybrid drive train, combining fuel cell, solar energy to support the diesel aggregate, all together delivering electricity to the hub motors in each of the wheels. The shape is meant to challenge the conventional truck format, and explore aerodynamic improvements within a Volvo identity. The Dakar Rally is the showcase for the new vehicle, and the vehicle is commercially targeted towards emergency situations, as a rescue vehicle or mobile hospital.
Solar-Powered Volvo probably could do a lot better if it were to use the power of the wind in the rally as that would be available in plenty when you are taking part in the race. I still would like to see a model that integrates small turbines which do not affect the aerodynamics of the car too much yet produce a considerable amount of power. This kind of design could be well integrated in to designs of other vehicles like the rail structures. The car though with the solar-roof is pretty cool to sport around.