Nissan Ariya becomes first car to complete Pole-to-Pole trek

Matt Allan

20 Dec 2023

A British couple have become the first people to ever drive from the North Pole to the South Pole, at the wheel of a Nissan Ariya.

Chris and Julie Ramsey took 10 months to cover more than 18,000 miles in their Nissan and their success marks not only the first time an electric car has completed the trek but the first time any car has managed to go pole to pole. 

The adventurers set off from the site of the Magnetic North Pole on the frozen Arctic Sea in April and traversed North, Central and South America, passing through 14 countries and encountering everything from snow drifts to sand dunes on their way to Antarctica, where they finally reached the South Pole in mid December. 

The challenge involved a modified version of the regular Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE. While the powertrain and battery - a 302bhp all-wheel-drive setup with 87kWh - were kept standard, polar adventure specialists Arctic Trucks modified the car’s suspension and bodywork to cope with the varied terrain and accommodate a set of 39-inch off-road tyres.

The couple are no strangers to epic electric trips, having previously completed the gruelling Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf. They planned the Pole-to-Pole adventure after that trip to prove just how capable electric vehicles are, while raising awareness of the environmental problems facing the world. 

Chris commented: “I can’t believe we’re at the South Pole. After so many years of planning, it doesn’t feel real. I’ve always had full confidence in the amazing capabilities of electric vehicles, and I knew our Nissan Ariya would tackle everything thrown at it. But it’s been far tougher than I anticipated. 

“I’m proud that Pole to Pole has reached millions of people in parts of the world and enthused them about embracing EV in their day to day lives."

Chris and Julie Ramsey are the first people to successfully drive from the North Pole to the South Pole

​Julie added: ”This has been an incredible journey, with the people we’ve met, the friends we’ve made and the support we’ve received. Pole to Pole started out as just Chris and I, but the expedition team is now made up of thousands of kind, forward-thinking people. These supporters and contributors want to make a difference and share the excitement of electric driving.”

The couple took 10 months to complete the challenge

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