Electric Nissan Ariya to drive from North to South Pole
After the electric car… the electric car expedition. And Nissan has picked on a biggie to prove the credentials of its new Ariya: a 16,700-mile trek from pole to pole. We hope they know where all the charging points are along the way…
Nissan is billing it as the world’s first all-electric driving adventure from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole. In fact, the company says the route from the Arctic through North, Central and South America and on to Antarctica will be a first for a car of any type.
The challenge is not just the distance but harsh terrain and the ability for the Ariya to cope with temperatures that will vary from +30C to -30C. If you drive an electric car and think its range isn’t what it should be on cold days, you will appreciate the difficulty here.
A specially prepared Ariya will be driven the whole way by Scottish adventurer Chris Ramsey. He has form at electric car record-breaking. He was first to do the Mongol Rally in an electric car and in 2015 he drove a Nissan Leaf the 1,625 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End and back again. That trip took him two days and he used only publicly available and free EV charging points.
Public charging points being at a premium in the “glacial landscapes, mountaintops and deserts” that he will be negotiating, it will be interesting to know how he is going to charge up his Nissan Ariya. Alas, Nissan either doesn’t know or isn’t telling.
Nissan says modifications to the car comprise beefed up wheels, tyres and suspension only. A second, unmodified Nissan Ariya will act as a support vehicle throughout the Americas.
“The all-electric Ariya crossover SUV enables you to go further,” says Nissan’s global sales chief Asako Hoshino. Maybe, but that much further?
The model chosen for the trip – the top e-4orce variant with two motors, all-wheel-drive and 394PS (290kW) – might get the bigger 87kWh battery, but its range is still only 250 miles. So, on a run of 16,700 miles the car will need to be charged up at least 67 times.
No doubt the full story of this epic electric adventure will come out in due course. Whatever the logistics, Nissan will have answered the question we asked when we reviewed the Ariya back in March: just how do you make the Ariya stand out in such a crowded market? A drive from pole to pole will make anything stand out.