A team of electric vehicle enthusiasts from Plug In Adventures is set to contest a 16,000-kilometer rally from the U.K. to Mongolia this summer in a lightly modified Nissan LEAF EV.
The rally is a non-competitive, untimed event; thus, the LEAF entrant drivers will not be racing to the finish line, but will instead be focused on making it to the finish line intact, and with sufficient juice in the battery.
As the team heads east from the rally’s kick-off in the U.K., public charging stations will become fewer and further between. Eventually, the team will need to rely upon portable charging units – presumably gasoline- or solar-powered – to recharge the LEAF’s battery in remote areas.
The slightly modified LEAF, which has been dubbed the LEAF AT-EV (All Terrain Electric Vehicle), is powered by a standard 30-kWh battery pack, which allows the compact car to travel roughly 250 kilometers on a single charge in ideal conditions.
Modifications to the LEAF include upgraded off-road wheels and tires, braided brake lines, mud-flaps, the deletion of the rear seats, and the addition of skid plates, a roof-mounted LED light bar, and a roof-top storage rack.
Chris Ramsey, founder of Plug In Adventures, chose the LEAF for its build quality and reliability, believing it’s one of the best EVs to contest the rally and make it to the finish line.
“Not only will we face a dwindling number of EV chargers the farther east we go, the terrain also becomes more difficult to navigate. Using a Nissan LEAF for this was an obvious decision. I’m familiar with the car; it’s always been reliable and dependable for me, and it has the largest network of rapid charging options in Europe,” said Ramsey.
“As it will also accept a 240v Commando connection even in the remote areas when my fast-charge options are gone, I can still charge the battery and keep moving. This journey is about the travel experience, though—not reaching the destination in a fast time.”