Nissan’s new Ariya crossover will become the first all-electric vehicle to drive from the North Pole to the South Pole, an expedition designed to raise awareness of climate change and the role electric vehicles can play in reducing global carbon footprints.
The ‘Pole to Pole’ expedition is set to travel cover more than 27,000 km and 14 countries from the Arctic, through North, Central and South America, and on to Antarctica, with temperatures expected to range from -30C to 30C. The expedition will begin in March of next year, and will also showcase the capabilities of Nissan’s EV crossover ahead of the Japanese marque’s full electrification by 2030.
The four-wheel drive Ariya e-4ORCE will be kitted out with upgraded tires, wheels and suspension, as well as “a custom rugged exterior fit for the trek.” A second, unmodified Ariya will act as the support vehicle.
While both e-4ORCE models are expected to feature the larger 87 kWh battery – good for up to 482 km of estimated range on select Canadian trims – it’s not yet been confirmed whether the 389 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque has also received a hike.
‘Pole to Pole’ founder Chris Ramsay will undertake the expedition, the Nissan partnership the latest development in the Scottish explorer’s four-year preparation.
“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 can meet the demands of drivers around the world, and encourage the switch to zero-emissions transport,” Ramsay explains. “To that end, we are thrilled that Nissan has joined the expedition. As a long-term Nissan LEAF owner and driver, I’m eager to get behind the wheel of my Ariya and put it to the ultimate test on this incredible 17,000-mile [around 27,000 km] journey.
“It is fantastic to see such an important global brand get behind Pole to Pole and its fundamental purpose – a better world for us all through smarter, more sustainable mobility. We will also raise awareness of sustainable lifestyles, conservation projects and renewable energy innovation along our route.”
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Though arguably his most ambitious challenge to-date, this is not the first electric expedition Ramsay has completed. In 2017, he and his wife Julie completed more than 16,000 km over 56 days aboard a specially-prepared Nissan Leaf to become the first team to complete the Mongol Rally in an electric vehicle.
Alongside their climate control mission, Ramsay and the expedition team also plan to “get involved with local projects,” including school visits to teach children about renewable energy.