A Souped-Up Nissan Ariya Is Doing What No Car Has Ever Done

Nissan is sending its Ariya EV on a pole-to-pole trip to prove the capability of electric vehicles in extreme conditions.
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jun 18, 2022
The first vehicle to make a grueling global pole-to-pole trip is...a
Nissan
Ariya? That's right. Nissan is sending a custom-built
Ariya EV
from the magnetic North Pole to the South pole, a nearly 17,000-mile trip made by adventurer Chris Ramsey. It'd be the first vehicle to complete the drive—if it makes it, that is.

The Nissan Ariya will complete a grueling trip to prove a point

The Nissan Ariya is an upcoming all-electric vehicle from the automaker, supplanting the Nissan LEAF's reign as the sole
BEV offering from Nissan
. The Ariya will boast Nissan's e-4ORCE tech, which will give it all-wheel control.
Ramsey and his Ariya e-4ORCE will depart in March 2023 on the 17,000-mile/27,000 kilometer expedition that will see temperatures ranging from -30⁰C to 30⁰C. 
Per Nissan's press release, Ramsey will be the first person to drive from pole to pole in a vehicle of any type, making his way from the Arctic to Antarctica by crossing through North, Central and South America.
It's a marketing stunt to show the capability of a one-off, purpose-built Nissan Ariya EV, which the automaker says will support its Nissan Ambition 2030 plan—otherwise known as the company's long-term vision to "empower mobility and beyond with electrification as a central focus."

What upgrades were made to the Nissan Ariya?

To prep for the journey, Nissan outfitted Ramsey's Ariya e-4ORCE with a custom rugged exterior and upgraded wheels, tires and suspension. Ramsey won't be making the journey by himself, however; the automaker is sending another unmodified Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE to act as a support vehicle for the stretch through the Americas.

What the heck is e-4ORCE?

Besides being a pain to type, Nissan touts its e-4ORCE (read "e-force") technology as the company's most advanced all-wheel control tech, capable of managing power output and braking to improve smoothness and stability. 
The automaker says the system will enhance driver confidence by tracing an imaginary "driving line" over a number of road surfaces—like the wet and snowy roads Ramsey is sure to encounter across much of North American in March—without the need for the driver to change their driving style or input.

What is Chris Ramsey’s mission?

Chris Ramsey, founder of Pole to Pole, said his organization's mission is to show off the capability of all-electric vehicles to demonstrate that they can tackle the harshest of environments. 
One of the rumors surrounding electric vehicles is that they don't operate well in extreme heat or bitter cold—a myth automakers have attempted to dispel in the past.
It's not the first EV adventure Ramsey has embarked upon; in 2017, he and his wife completed the 16,000-kilometer Mogol Rally over 56 days in his all-electric
Nissan LEAF
.
Presumably, Nissan hopes to use Ramsey's clout to convince buyers that if a Nissan EV can survive a trek from the Arctic to Antarctic, it can handle a dusting of snow on the way to the grocery store.
It's probably not the last you'll hear of this endeavor, so keep an eye out in March for more news on this expedition.
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