EV Insights

So, just how tough are electric vehicles?

Rich Smith

So, just how tough are electric vehicles?

It’s a question many want to know - how tough are electric vehicles? Do they work as effectively in seriously cold or warm climates? Can you take an electric vehicle to the South or North Pole…? (Admittedly this last question might not be the first that springs to mind!).

To answer all of the above, EV adventurers Chris and Julie Ramsey are in the midst of driving an all-electric Nissan Ariya more than 17,000 miles across three continents, from the 1823 Magnetic North Pole in the frozen Arctic Ocean, to the South Pole in Antarctica.

Six years in the planning, the aim of the expedition is to ‘spark the imagination’ and showcase the capability and excitement of EVs and shine a light on bold initiatives and fascinating communities harnessing renewable energy.

Chris Ramsey, Founder of Pole to Pole Expedition, said: “Our mission is to show that electric vehicles can tackle the harshest of environments – from the colds of the Poles, to the hot and humid jungles of South America. This is the ultimate test of range and durability, and by overcoming these obstacles we aim to prove that EV adoption is a possibility for everyone, while also raising awareness of sustainable lifestyles, conservation projects and renewable energy innovation along our route.”

“For some people climate change can feel like an issue that is too big for them to have an impact on, but with road vehicles accounting for more than 20% of all harmful emissions worldwide, the switch to electric cars powered by renewable energy could dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.”

In Canada, Chris and Julie visited Harbour Air’s and their ambitious project to convert a 1956 Beaver plane into a functional, electric mode of transport. Harbour Air are hoping to have it commissioned by 2025.

As for the Nissan Ariya, retaining the production spec vehicle, particularly the standard battery and powertrain, was essential to the credibility of Pole to Pole. However, some necessary modifications were made in collaboration with polar mobility experts Arctic Trucks, including raising the suspension and fitting 39-inch snow tyres that were tested in Iceland’s Arctic-like terrain.

As such, given the increased weight, the real world range of Ariya has been fairly reduced. However to mitigate any charging issues, Chris has worked exceptionally closely with Enel X Way to build a designated charging network where needed through North, Central and South America.

The network is much more of a practical legacy of the expedition, as all charge points installed (approx. 150 miles apart) are hard standing, permanent installations, providing local charging infrastructure from Nicaragua to Peru and beyond.

To keep up so speed with this incredible adventure, do check out the Pole to Pole Electric Vehicle Expedition site and follow the relative social pages!