Following 10 months and over 18,000 miles of driving, a pair of explorers have completed an epic drive from our planet’s North Pole to its South Pole. That’s a helluva drive no matter the vehicle or conditions, but the team of Chris and Julie Ramsey chose to take it on in an all-electric Nissan Ariya.
Yeah, that got our attention, too, when press releases started cropping up about this endeavor sometime last year. Team Ramsey left the North Pole (magnetic) in the early months of 2022 with sights set on hitting the South Pole and claiming a world record for long distance driving in an electric vehicle. Actually, according to the crew, this marks the first time such a journey has been completed in a car, electric or not.
Two birds, one stone, and so forth.
The adventurers began planning what eventually became this Pole-to-Pole Challenge way back in 2017 after completing the Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf. That accomplishment, no small beans in its own right, was the first time an electric vehicle had been used to tackle the 6,000+ mile test which has had no qualms laying waste to far sterner machinery over the years.
As for this quest, Nissan insists the Ariya’s basics – namely, powertrain and battery – were factory standard with no modifications. It only takes the gift of sight to deduce there are obvious mods to the body and tire selection but those alterations are certainly not out of line with the prep one might expect on a rig intended to be driven from the North to South Pole. Those changes were undertaken by polar mobility specialists Arctic Trucks (anyone who’s watched Top Gear will recognize that name) to accommodate 39-inch BF Goodrich tires.
We’ve plenty of questions of course, not the least of which surround the issue of charging the Ariya in remote places and how its battery handled frigid ambient temperatures at the extreme ends of our planet. But in the moment, we’ll simply applaud this feat of driving – one which would be impressive in any machine, let alone an EV.
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