This Couple Is Driving an EV From the North Pole to the South Pole on a 10-Month Journey

This Couple Is Driving an EV From the North Pole to the South Pole on a 10-Month Journey

This week, a couple is planning to set off from the Arctic to drive an electric vehicle from the North Pole to the South Pole, driving through many different countries along a 10-month journey before ending in Antarctica.

The challenge is called the ‘Pole to Pole: Electric Vehicle Expedition’, and it features two drivers: husband and wife Chris and Julie Ramsey. The couple has a history of doing ambitious challenges in electric vehicles, but this new challenge is their most ambitious one yet, kicking off later this week, as reported by the BBC.

Nissan is the official electric vehicle partner of the expedition, with Arctic Trucks, BF Goodrich and Iridium all supporting the team along the journey.

It’s a big departure from what most people would likely demand of a run-of-the-mill SUV. And yet, Nissan is out to prove the Ariya is far more capable than its appearance would suggest, especially with the new ‘e-4ORCE’ AWD system.

Silly names aside, Nissan is confident enough to send its new EV to the literal ends of the Earth in a mostly stock configuration. Under that stance and other off-road bits, the Nissan Ariya embarking on the journey will remain mostly the same: the battery and powertrain are stock, as well as the e-4ORCE tech. The changes are mostly in the suspension, wheels, and tires.

Nissan had some help from vehicle outfitter Arctic Trucks to get the Ariya ready for the 27,000km journey. The company fitted the Ariya with raised suspension and more durable wheels on 39-inch BF Goodrich tyres, specifically chosen for their performance in snow. Of course, the tires also have to do a decent job on the road, while being better than decent in the sand.

The Ariya’s wheel arches were widened to fit the tyres, and to increase the EV’s stability. The two-person team driving the Ariya will drive it through many kinds of terrain on their way from the North to South Pole, ranging from rocky foothills to sand dunes, to snow, ice, and everything in between. Nissan says this is the first expedition of its kind for any vehicle, and certainly for any EV.

The purpose of the trip, as Julie Ramsey told the BBC, is to “dispel common myths that people have when they question electric vehicles – things like range and how far can they go.”

“We are putting the car through the harshest of environments – minus temperatures and extreme heat – so we’re really pushing the car to its limits and seeing what capability it has,” Julie Ramsey added.

In order to charge in remote locations, the Ariya will be towing a “portable, renewable energy unit” that uses a wind turbine and solar panels to generate electricity. It’s a prototype that’s packable and lightweight, which will charge the SUV while the two explorers rest.

It’ll take an expected 10 months to complete the journey, with the couple driving from Canada, through the United States, then through Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina, before then heading to Antarctica to complete the journey.

Good luck to the Ramseys. This is a massively ambitious project that, as they say, hasn’t been attempted before. To see it done with an EV would be astounding.

This article has been updated since it was originally published.

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