Chris Ramsey’s journey in a modified Ariya crossover will test limits of range anxiety and temperatures in a world-first EV expedition.
- British adventurer Chris Ramsey will attempt to drive a modified Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE from the magnetic North to the South Pole via the Americas in Spring 2023.
- The journey of over 16,000 miles will be undertaken by one main vehicle and one support vehicle, both Nissan Ariya crossovers.
- The expedition will be a world-first attempt along this route in an EV, just a few months after the Ariya arrives on sale stateside.
If you thought finding an EV charger in the upper Midwest was difficult enough, an upcoming expedition by two Nissan Ariya crossovers is bound to test range anxiety and cold-weather performance simultaneously. Early next year, British adventurer Chris Ramsey will embark on the first all-electric expedition from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole.
Ramsey and his team will take one custom modified Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE crossover and one unmodified Ariya as a support vehicle on a journey of about 16,800 miles, traveling from the Arctic to Antarctica through North, Central, and South America.
One Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE will be modified with an upgraded suspension, tires, wheels, and other exterior features, as seen on Nissan’s renderings, while the support team Ariya will accompany the custom Ariya on segments through the Americas, but not over the icy parts.
Of course, there will be some segments of the journey that will have to be covered by ferry—or in the case of the leg between Tierra del Fuego by chartered ship—but the expedition vehicle will otherwise be on its own for much of the journey, which will doubtlessly test quite a few of its systems as temperatures range from -25 degrees F to 86 degrees F, judged conservatively.
The main expedition vehicle itself will feature a number of modifications for traveling in deep snow.
“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 that they are exhilarating to drive whilst meeting the daily demands of drivers around the world,” Ramsey said. “It’s fantastic to see such an important and innovative global brand partner with our expedition.”
If you’re wondering just where the Ariya will be able to juice up in the Antarctica, the simple answer is that it will bring enough fuel to run a generator to recharge its battery. The Ariya is expected to have an EPA range of about 300 miles, but the distance from the South Pole (and its science stations) is about 760 miles to the coast. So depending on where the Ariya exits a ship—which could be an ordeal of its own—it will need several full recharges to cover the distance to the Pole where it can get some energy off the generator-run local grid.
This trip sounds like equal parts nightmare for EV owners and a perfect way to prove the Ariya’s off-road ability. EV makers including Nissan certainly test vehicles in Arctic conditions, but the testing is generally done just a few minutes away from a cozy hotel in Sweden, so this will be a very real test with quite a lot at stake, as Inmarsat satellite phones won’t be able to get a rescue team to appear in mere hours.
Ramsey has experience traveling hundreds of miles of off-road terrain in an EV, having done the Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf.
This won’t quite be the first journey of its kind for Ramsey, as in 2017 along with wife Julie he completed the Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf. That part of the world was perhaps even less EV friendly than the Americas portion of the upcoming Pole to Pole trip will be, so Ramsey is very familiar with the unavailability of charging stations.
If the expedition is successful, EV fans will be able to rightly say that if a Nissan Ariya can travel from the North to the South Pole, it’s practical enough to take on a road trip to Orlando.
Ramsey will kick off the journey in March 2023.