You’d probably think about taking a badass off-road truck from the North Pole to the South Pole.
Nissan has an…interesting idea on what constitutes a polar expedition vehicle. Chris and Julie Ramsey, in their efforts to drive the 27,000-kilometer (16,777-mile) excursion, will use a Nissan Ariya. Naturally, it’s not just any Ariya, as this car has been modified to (hopefully) handle the brutal terrain they’re likely to encounter on the journey.
More specifically, Arctic Trucks worked with Nissan engineers to prepare the car for the cross-planet excursion. It has flared wheel arches covering massive 39-inch all-terrain tires — yes, bigger than what’s on our GMC Hummer EV — and altered suspension to give the Ariya a fair bit more ground clearance. The team fitted underbody protection, while both ends get attachment points for extra gear like a trailer (more on that in a second).
At its core, though, the electric drivetrain is completely stock. You still get a dual-motor Ariya that manages about 304 miles on a charge according to EPA estimates. Obviously, it will manage substantially less than that in this configuration, to say nothing of the extreme temperatures the Ramseys will likely face. So, to cover the elephant in the room: What will they do when they inevitably need to charge?
It’s not like there are chargers dotted along the entire route…
If Nissan thought about integrating an espresso machine into their polar-built Ariya, they do have a solution for charging as well. The car will tow a prototype “portable, renewable-energy unit” powered by wind turbines and solar panels. The idea is to draw energy off that unit every time the car stops for a break, though the car will need to stop more often due to the reduced range from towing a trailer anyway.
How well will it work? Well, we’ll find out when Chris and Julie kick off their trip in March. The exact route is not available yet, but there should be more information on the trip and how the Ariya performs in the coming weeks.