Nissan: a mission to drive an EV from pole to pole
Chris Ramsey, originally from Yorkshire, and his wife Julie are planning a 17,000-mile trek from the North Pole to the South Pole in an electric vehicle.
The trip has been four years in the planning and aims to prove the durability of electric vehicles (EVs) as the country gets closer to the 2030 landmark when all new vehicles will be EVs.
During this epic adventure, which aims to start in March, the new Nissan Ariya will need to cope with breath-taking but extreme terrains and environments, including ice fields, deep snow, steep mountain climbs and inhospitable desert dunes.
Arctic Trucks, specialists in polar expedition vehicles, have collaborated with Nissan design and engineering teams to prepare the Ariya for these tough conditions.
Modifications to the car have been intentionally minimal, with no changes to the battery or powertrain, but the most recognisable difference is the adaption of the suspension and addition of 39in tyres. When coupled with e-4ORCE, Nissan’s advanced electric all-wheel-control technology, these modifications will enable the expedition car to tackle extreme terrains whilst giving Mr and Mrs Ramsey the necessary comfort and control to reach the South Pole.
Mr Ramsey, Pole-to-Pole EV Expedition Leader, who was born in Middlesbrough and who now lives in Northern Scotland, said: “One of the things that underpins all the adventures we do is that we take a standard production EV and aim to make minimal changes to clearly demonstrate its real, everyday capabilities, regardless of where you are driving it.
“Our Nissan Ariya is no different as the vehicle’s drivetrain and battery has remained factory standard, demonstrating just how capable and versatile the production Ariya is.
“We’ve modified the suspension and widened the wheel arches so we can benefit from the stable platform and support of the 39-inch BF Goodrich tyres.
“I’m incredibly excited to get behind the wheel of what was already a brilliant vehicle, but now feels equipped to take on the ends of the earth in style.”
As a self-confessed coffee lover, Mr Ramsey will have access to a specially integrated espresso machine with a good supply of sustainable coffee.
Whilst the on-demand caffeine will help him focus on the long and isolated parts of the journey, he can also capture the beauty of these spectacular environments using a drone that can launch directly from the utility unit on the roof.
One further innovation is the portable, renewable energy unit that will be used to charge the Ariya in the polar regions. The towable prototype includes a packable, lightweight wind turbine and solar panels that will take advantage of high winds and long daylight hours to provide charge for the EV’s battery when the Ramseys stop to rest.
Mrs Ramsey, co-driver on Pole-to-Pole, said: “We’re going to discover so many interesting initiatives from communities and individuals who are taking positive action against climate change.”
The Ramseys are no strangers to electric driving challenges. They have been testing the limits of EVs for 10 years, becoming the first people to complete the 10,500-mile Mongol Rally in an electric vehicle, their own Nissan Leaf.