And you thought you had a cool road trip planned for next year.
Chris and Julie Ramsey are heading south for the winter. All the way south.
The married Scots will attempt to become the first people to drive from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole, and they are doing it in an electric car.
The couple completed the 10,000-mile Mongol Rally through Asia driving a Nissan Leaf in 2017 and have teamed up with the automaker for their new 17,000-mile journey.
Chris and Julie Ramsey will drive a Nissan Ariya from the North to South Pole. (Nissan)
“There was a lot of kind of things floating around at that time about cold weather impacts on batteries and I know, from being an EV driver for nearly 10 years, that there is a little bit of an impact, but it’s not as bad as what was being made out,” Ramsey told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview from his home in Aberdeen, the center of Europe’s petroleum industry.
Christmas Tree valves are commonly used in oil and gas extraction. (Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Ramsey used to manage a General Electric manufacturing facility that built the “Christmas tree” valves used in oil and gas extraction. “You either work in retail or hospitality, or you work in oil and gas,” he said.
They previously competed in the 10,000-mile Mongol Rally in a Nissan Leaf. (Nissan)
After buying a Nissan Leaf and falling for electric power, he proposed some changes at the factory. “Tried to get the plant to go more renewable, more electric, and they were not having it, so I left,” he said.
The Ramseys, Chris, 46, and Julie, 44, will be driving a Nissan Ariya, which has a range of 300 miles per charge in factory condition, but is being modified by Iceland’s Arctic Trucks for the trip with a new suspension and giant 39-inch tires that will allow it to cross soft snow and slush.
The Ariya will be modified by Arctic Trucks for the polar regions. (Nissan)
The powertrain is being left untouched in an effort to show that electric vehicles can handle the harsh conditions as well, if not better, than an internal combustion engine vehicle, which requires engine and gearbox upgrades for a trip like this and needs to run on a mix of aviation fuel due to the low temperatures.
“The idea was to say, can we do this without having to modify the drivetrain at all,” Ramsey said.
The challenge is charging the batteries while they’re off the grid, so they’re building a portable wind turbine that is combined with a small solar array that can provide up to 9 kilowatts of electricity.
Chris and Julie were the first to complete the Mogol Rally in an electric vehicle. (Nissan)
“The Arctic is one of the windiest places on the planet. It’s second to Antarctic, which is great for us because it’s the two places we’re going,” Ramsey said.
With nearly 24 hours of daylight in the polar regions while they are there, and sleep being hard to come by, the plan is to drive and charge in three to four-hour shifts to keep the battery topped off.
A team from Arctic Trucks will be with them for safety and to help monitor the ice conditions, as they will be spending a good portion of the trip crossing frozen seas.
An Arctic Trucks vehicle got caught in thin ice in the Arctic this year. (Transglobal Car Expedition )
When Arctic Trucks was scouting a route to the magnetic North Pole near Ellesmere Island this year, one truck got caught in the ice and sank, requiring a major recovery operation that took place in September.
The truck broke through the ice and sank and had to be recovered later in the year. (Transglobal Car Expedition)
The Ramsey’s journey will actually start in Edmonton, Canada, in February, from where they will drive nearly 2,000 miles through Yellowknife and onto the pole, before turning around and heading south for Ushuaia, Argentina to catch a flight Antarctica for the final leg late in the year.
The Ramsey’s will make their way to the South Pole via the Union Glacier. (Nissan)
Ramsey said they are looking forward to experiencing all the countries along the way, including passing through the off-roading center of Moab, Utah. If successful, they will make their mark in the history books as pioneers, but someone is already looking to follow in their footsteps.
Arctic Trucks is also working with the Transglobal Car Expedition, which is aiming to drive entirely around the world through the poles in 2024, starting in Ushuaia and heading north, then south through Europe and Africa.
It is planning to do it the old-fashioned way, though, with internal-combustion engine trucks.
Gary Gastelu is Fox News Digital’s automotive editor.