Chris Ramsey and his expedition team are gearing up for the Pole to Pole environmental drive which will see them depart from the North Pole in March 2023 and travel across three continents, 14 countries and 17,000 miles to reach the South Pole.
The drive will start from the Arctic through to North, Central and South America, and finally Antarctica. The entire trip should be completed within 10 months after factoring in the harsh weather conditions of the Arctic where temperatures can vary from -30 to 30⁰C.
If everything goes according to plan, Ramsey and his team will be the first in automotive history to drive an electric vehicle from the North to South Pole. They will encounter various cultures and communities during this long drive which will throw up the disturbing realities of polar caps melting and habitat loss.
Nissan Motors is the official partner for this expedition and its all-electric Ariya e-4ORCE, still under development, will be the vehicle used by Ramsey and his team. Arctic Trucks, a specialist in polar vehicles, has been tasked with modifying the Ariya e-4ORCE so that it can travel through the rough terrain with ease. Arctic Trucks will also help with logistic support and plan a safe route through the polar regions.
Concept design of the Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE which will be modified by Arctic Trucks, making it suitable for the polar conditions.
Pole to Pole has been in the works for the past four years and is intended to create more awareness on global warming and why electric vehicles can play a key role in reducing the carbon footprint. Nissan has been a pioneer with the Leaf and, more recently, announced an ambitious plan for electric which will see huge investments being made. This is in line with what automakers across the world are focusing on right now and India is as keen on being part of this drive.
Ramsey and his wife, Julie, completed the Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf in 2017. They travelled through 20 countries, driving from the UK to Siberia over 56 days. Ramsey holds the Guinness World Record for the furthest distance travelled on an e-bike in a 12-hour period. He broke the record in August 2018 clocking 180.75 miles on a Volt Pulse hybrid electric bike at an average speed of 16.4 mph. In the process, he broke the record of 110.60 miles held by Prasad Erande of Maharashtra.
Ramsey in his Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE.
“Our mission is to show that EVs can tackle the harshest of environments — from the bitter cold of the poles to the hot and humid jungles of South America — and illustrate that they can meet the demands of drivers around the world and encourage the switch to zero-emissions transport" said Ramsey in a press release.
"As a long-term Nissan Leaf owner and driver, I am eager to get behind the wheel of my Ariya and put it to the ultimate test on this incredible 17,000-mile journey,” he added. Nissan will be as eager to see how its offering withstands the drive and this will be an occasion to showcase its prowess in electric even further. Tesla has been the poster boy for electric but conventional carmakers like Nissan (and Volkswagen) have also been pushing the envelope aggressively. What better than an expedition from one end of the earth to another to drive home the message!
The feature was published in Autocar Professional's June 15, 2022 issue.
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