An electric car completed the world's first-ever drive from the North to the South Pole

The modified Nissan Ariya EV traveled 17,000 miles over nine months.

Pole To Pole EV

Earlier today, Scottish adventurers Chris and Julie Ramsey were finally able to announce their completion of the nine-month, 17,000-mile "Pole To Pole EV" expedition, the world's first drive from the 1823 Magnetic North Pole to South Pole — on an electric car, no less. The couple actually reached their destination on December 15 (Friday), but they could only share the news after re-establishing satellite connection later. This feat was achieved using a Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE electric vehicle, which was modified by Icelandic specialist Arctic Trucks — mainly with larger 39-inch tires plus matching wheel arches, along with some ice-friendly gear and body reinforcement work. The powertrain and suspension were mostly stock — just with a lifted height, according to Electrek.

All that extra load on the electric vehicle meant it had to make do with a reduced range of just 150 to 200 miles — a drop from the original 272-mile mark. During the Arctic and Antarctic parts of the trip, the Ramseys picked up tricks on keeping the car battery warm for improved efficiency. Most notably, they would pile up a snow wall to shield the car's underside and front radiator from the cold wind, or they would even use a dedicated tent to cover up the entire car, when it wasn't not too windy.

Depending on the weather, the duo would use either a 5kW wind turbine or a prototype solar hybrid charging solution to juice up their Ariya. Failing that, there were moments when they had to fall back to their petrol generator — a mandatory equipment for traversing the Arctic regions. Likewise with their diesel support vehicles, as no electric version of those exist. Chris explained to Expedition Portal that the purpose of "Pole To Pole EV" is to prove that electric vehicles make a viable replacement for existing diesel-powered expedition vehicles in the polar regions.

In between the poles, the Ramseys traveled through the Americas, with the northern part being relatively easy thanks to the readily-available chargers along the way. It was a different story down south, but "Pole To Pole EV" collaborated with EV charging solutions provider, Enel X Way, to install chargers along their route through Central and South America — especially the Peru leg of the expedition. Better yet, Enel X Way has promised to keep these new chargers available to the public afterwards, thus extending its electric Pan-American charging corridor.

This isn't the first time Chris and Julie Ramsey made headlines involving electric vehicles. Back in 2017, the Scottish couple became the first to enter and complete the Mongol Rally in an electric car — a modified Nissan Leaf Acenta. Charging was relatively easy between the UK and Turkey, but from there onwards, they had to rely on domestic plug sockets and would end up with many memorable encounters with locals. The two drove 10,000 miles in 56 days — quite a challenge given the modified Leaf's 90-mile range. "But we are pleased that a huge charging network has sprung up across the route since we completed the rally in 2017," Chris added, in case anyone else is up for the EV challenge.