The Rebelle Rally, recognized as the longest off-road map and compass rally in the United States, recently completed an important achievement. For the first time in the rally’s history, an all-electric car, the 2023 Rivian R1T, has won first place, TechCrunch reports. The competition, now in its eighth year, challenges all-female teams to cover a 2,120-kilometer course using only traditional navigation tools such as paper maps and compasses.
The winning Rivian R1T was piloted by Lilly Macaruso, with Alex Anderson managing the map and compass. Both are Rivian employees. It is noteworthy that they previously took fourth place in the Rebelle Rally 2022. Another highlight of this year’s event was the participation of Rivian’s client, Manny Brezina, who competed in his own R1T and finished in 11th place.
The winner of the R1T, affectionately nicknamed “Timmy,” was essentially in its stock configuration, with no major changes to its performance. However, a few tweaks were made to the interior to help the team store their belongings safely during the rally. Anderson, a senior mechanical engineer at Rivian, added mounts for the necessary equipment.
The Rebelle Rally has become an important testing ground for Rivian. The company’s participation began in 2020, when automotive journalist Amy Hall drove a pre-production R1T. Since then, Rivian has sponsored the team every year, using the rally to refine and improve the performance of its electric vehicles based on real-world feedback.
The charging infrastructure for the rally presented its own set of challenges. Historically, diesel generators powered the fast DC chargers used at the event. This year, however, there was a shift to a more sustainable solution.
Renewable Innovations partnered with Rebelle to provide green hydrogen to power the chargers, a significant step towards environmentally friendly charging solutions for such events.
Emily Miller, founder of Rebelle Rally, emphasized the challenges and efforts that went into creating the electric vehicle infrastructure for the event. The integration of hydrogen for charging was a long-term goal, and its realization required extensive collaboration and resources.