- Expedition begins in 2023
- Two Ariyas taking part, one modified and one in support
- Chris Ramsey to lead the team
The 2023 Nissan Ariya is set to become the first electric vehicle to drive all the way from the North- to South Pole.
Nissan has announced it is teaming up with British adventurer, Chris Ramsey, to undertake the world’s-first all-electric driving adventure between the two poles.
Departing in March 2023, the daring expedition will see Ramsey and team in a Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE travel more than 27,000 kilometres across the world – with predicted temperatures ranging from -30⁰C to 30⁰C.
Ramsey will be the first person to drive from pole to pole in a vehicle of any type, as he makes his way from the Arctic through North, Central and South America, before crossing into Antarctica – taking on some of the world’s most extreme terrains, including; snow, mountain climbs and desert dunes.
“We’re proud to announce our partnership with Chris Ramsey and the Pole to Pole expedition team,” said Nissan’s Executive Vice President, Asako Hoshino.
“With e-4ORCE control technology providing enhanced stability and traction on a variety of surfaces, we know the Ariya will be the perfect partner for Chris and his team on their challenging all-electric journey.”
In preparation for the freezing Arctic and Antarctic conditions, Ramsey’s Ariya e-4ORCE will be modified with a more rugged custom exterior fit for the trek, gaining upgraded wheels, tyres and suspension. A second, unmodified, Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE will act as a support vehicle throughout the Americas.
E-4ORCE is Nissan’s most advanced all-wheel drive technology that manages power output and braking performance for smoothness and stability. According to the carmaker, the system traces the intended driving line over a variety of road surfaces, including wet and snowy roads, without the need for changes in driving style or input.
This isn’t the first all-electric expedition for Chris Ramsey. He’s been adventuring in EVs for more than a decade. In 2017, he and his wife Julie became the first team to complete the Mongol Rally in an all-electric vehicle. The pair travelled in excess of 16,000 kilometres over 56 days in his own Nissan Leaf.
“Our mission is to show that electric vehicles can tackle the harshest of environments – from the bitter cold of the poles to the hot and humid jungles of South America, and illustrate they are exhilarating to drive whilst meeting the daily demands of drivers around the world,” added Ramsey.
The arrival of the long-awaited Ariya EV crossover on local shores, however, has recently pushed back until at least 2023.
It was hoped that the Ariya, which is Nissan’s second dedicated EV after the Leaf, would arrive locally this year to take on the likes of the Tesla Model Y and Polestar 2. But global production delays due to the semiconductor shortage, and Australia’s position as a lower-priority market for EVs, means the Ariya’s arrival timing has blown out until next year.
Exact specifications are still being finalised for local showrooms, but the model will be offered globally with a choice of 63kW and 87kW batteries, the latter allowing a single charge trip of more than 500km. The most potent version will also do the zero to 100km/h dash in a respectable 5.1 seconds.
What’s more, a choice of front- or four-wheel drive will be offered, allowing a choice between more affordable and performance variants.
Nissan has long been a pioneer in the electric space, and globally it has committed that 50 per cent of its sales will be either hybrid or full-electric by 2030. The strategy, known as ‘Ambition 2030’, will see Nissan invest ¥2 trillion (AU$21.6 billion) over the next five years – which will include 15 new electric models.