I recently had a story published in Crankshaft magazine about how my pal, the NASCAR pioneer Johnny Allen, was part of a team that Lincoln-Mercury assembled to run a fleet of new 1965 Mercury Comets on a torture run from the tip of South America to frozen Alaska. Next month, once the weather improves a bit, Nissan plans to outdo this long-ago feat by taking a modified, off-road-ready version of its new Ariya EV on a run from the magnetic North Pole all the way to the South Pole, some 27,000 kilometers distant.
The pole-to-pole EV blast, which you can follow here as it happens, will use an Ariya upgraded and modified for the mission by project ally Arctic Trucks, which specializes in preparing commercials vehicles for duty in extreme winter climes. As part of the journey, Nissan will use a custom pull-along trailer incorporating a wind turbine and solar panels that will allow the Ariya to recharge in places where charging stations won’t exist for a long time. The Ariya itself is modified with fender flares, 39-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, and most importantly, an onboard espresso maker that will brew sustainable coffee. Nissan has been planning this trip for four years, almost as long as the Ariya has been conceptualized.