17,000-Mile Electric Adventure
A few weeks ago, we reported on Nissan’s intention to stage a north-to-south pole EV expedition drive in a modified Ariya. The 17,000-mile trip, which will take adventurers Chris and Julie Ramsey on an epic drive from the earth’s magnetic North Pole to the South Pole in Antarctica, will take in a huge mix of terrain. While much of the drive will be conducted on developed roads, the Ramseys will also have to traverse extreme environments like ice fields, snow, mountains, and desert dunes.
To prepare the copper-colored Ariya for the big drive, Nissan partnered with Arctic Trucks, a well-known specialist in building polar expedition vehicles. Modifications to the car have been kept intentionally minimal, as Nissan wants to demonstrate how tough the basic Ariya is.
Standard Ariya Drivetrain
There are no changes to the battery and its e-4orce powertrain at all; the most recognizable difference is a modified suspension and the addition of massive 39-inch BFGoodrich off-road tires. When coupled with the electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system, the chassis mods will enable the expedition car to tackle extreme terrains while simultaneously giving the drivers a comfortable environment for the big drive.
“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,” said Chris Ramsey, the Pole to Pole EV expedition leader. “Our Nissan Ariya is no different, as the vehicle's drivetrain and battery has remained factory standard.”
Portable Energy Unit
What about charging? While the Ariya has an EPA-estimated range of 304 miles, at the upper end of its segment, finding electricity will still be an issue over much of the drive. While conventional EV Level 2 and Level 3 charging will be available on some of the drive route, many of its miles will cover uncharted territory, where no charging is available.
Together with Arctic Trucks, Nissan has developed a portable, renewable energy unit that can be used to charge the Ariya. 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 Chris and Julie stop to rest.
One of the more amusing modifications to the Ariya is a built-in espresso machine. Self-confessed coffee lovers, Chris and Julie Ramsey will have access to a specially integrated espresso machine with a supply of sustainable coffee. An on-board drone can launch directly from the roof box to document the spectacular environments the team drives through as well.
An Epic Expedition
"The planning and preparation for Pole to Pole has been such a big part of our lives over the past four years so I am really looking forward to getting the expedition underway in March,” said Julie Ramsey, co-driver on Pole to Pole. “We're going to discover so many interesting initiatives from communities and individuals who are taking positive action against climate change and I'm looking forward to sharing these experiences and stories with everyone. We are doing something that has never been attempted before, a world-first, and ultimately that is what makes it so exciting."
For more details on the Pole to Pole expedition, including the latest updates as the team prepares for their epic adventure, head over to their dedicated page, here.