A Scottish husband and wife team are taking on a world-first challenge to drive between the North and South Poles in an electric car.
Chris and Julie Ramsey are embarking on the 10-month, 17,000-mile trek in a modified Nissan Ariya to highlight positive climate action and prove the long-range capabilities of electric cars.
On their way from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole they will cross three continents and face everything from Tarmac roads to desert dunes, mountain climbs, ice fields and deep snow. If they are successful they will be the first people to complete the pole-to-pole drive in any car, not just an EV.
To help cope with the challenge, the couple’s all-electric Nissan Ariya has been modified by polar expedition specialist Arctic Trucks, better known for its work on pick-up trucks such as the Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux, including the famous Top Gear cars. Major changes include massively upgraded suspension, 39-inch off-road tyres and widened wheel arches but elsewhere the car has been kept as standard as possible.
The expedition Ariya uses the regular twin-motor setup found in high-spec E-4ORCE editions, putting out around 300bhp via the car’s complex four-wheel-drive system. It also uses the standard 87kWh battery, which in optimal conditions provides around 319 miles. To help keep that battery topped up in more remote regions, the Ariya will tow its own wind and solar-powered charging unit to take advantage of high winds and long daylight hours when Chris and Julie stop to rest. Other subtler additions include a drone docking station on the utility roof rack, an on-board weather station and a built-in espresso machine.
Expedition leader Chris commented: "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."
The couple are well known for their epic EV adventures and previously completed the gruelling 8,000-mile Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf in 2017.
Julie added: "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. 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."