Nissan prepares Ariya SUV for 27,000-km Pole-to-Pole EV adventure
Next month, a husband and wife team will set off on an epic electric journey from the magnetic North Pole to its southern counterpart, in a Nissan Ariya electric SUV that's been kitted out for adventure.
It's not the first time we've encountered Chris and Julie Ramsey. Back in 2017, we featured their all-terrain modification of a Nissan Leaf ahead of its successful completion of the 17,000-km (10,500-mile) Mongol Rally. Now they're about to get behind the wheel of another electric Nissan, this time an Ariya, and this time going on a 27,000-km (over 16,700-mile) journey from the north of the globe to the south.
Polar expedition specialist Arctic Trucks has partnered with Nissan to get the electric SUV ready for its epic adventure, though the battery and powertrain remain unmodified.
While not specified in the press materials, assuming it's the 290-kW and 87-kWh AWD version with 600 Nm (442 lb.ft) of torque and e-4ORCE all-wheel control technology, that would mean a per-charge range of up to 475 km (295 miles). The temperatures likely to be encountered runs from -30 to plus 30 °C (-22 - 86 °F), so actual range figures may be somewhat different.
The vehicle will tow a prototype trailer fitted out with a lightweight wind turbine and solar panels to help meet some of their charging needs along the route.
Vehicle modifications are reported to have been minimal. "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," said Chris Ramsey. "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 tires. 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!" Other notable additions include a built-in espresso machine, weather station and a drone that can be launched from the roof.
The expedition marks the first time any vehicle has been driven from Pole to Pole. It's expected to take around 10 months to complete, and is being undertaken not only to showcase EV technologies and capabilities, but also to highlight the issues we all face as a result of climate change.
The Ramseys are due to set off in March and will make their way across 14 countries from the Arctic north to Canada, down through the US and South America, and onward to Antarctica. A second, unmodified, Ariya e-4FORCE will serve as a support vehicle for the North and South American legs of the journey.
You can follow the adventure via a dedicated Pole to Pole page. Have a look at the short video below for more on the preparations.