Climate change: Couple set for Pole-to-Pole electric car challenge

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Julie and Chris Ramsey have been planning the adventure for years

A husband and wife from Aberdeen aim to drive from the Arctic to Antarctica in an electric car.

Chris and Julie Ramsey will set off to travel 17,000 miles (27,000km) from the Magnetic North to South Pole this week.

Their vehicle will be powered for much of the trip by solar and wind energy.

The couple will navigate into Canada, then head south through the United States and into warmer temperatures in South America over the space of 10 challenging months.

They will travel through Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

They accept the journey could put a lot to the test, including their relationship.

And coming from Aberdeen, they will take supplies of the humble buttery - the famous long-lasting local delicacy made of lard, butter and sugar, which is also known as a rowie or Aberdeen roll - to help keep their strength up.

"One of the most common questions we get asked is how we're going to charge the car in the polar regions where there's no electricity source," Mrs Ramsey said.

"There will be a wind turbine and full double solar on this device which will be towed along, harnessing the renewable energy sources - the wind and the sun - to power the car.

Image source, Pole to Pole EV
Image caption,
The couple's car will be powered by solar and wind energy

"That has been really challenging, innovative, pioneering - it's never been done before."

She explained: "It's to dispel common myths that people have when they question electric vehicles - things like range and how far can they go.

"We are putting the car through the harshest of environments - minus temperatures and extreme heat - so we're really pushing the car to its limits and seeing what capability it has."

Large tyres have been fitted to the vehicle in a bid to cope with harsh terrain.

There are also some mod-cons, such as a coffee machine in the boot. And there is a drone launcher, so the couple can film their journey.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Penguins in Antarctica are one of the sights awaiting the couple

Mr Ramsey said: "Pole to Pole is the world's first drive from a magnetic North Pole location - up in the Arctic - all the way through the Americas and then all the way into the South Pole in Antarctica.

"No car in history has ever attempted this - and certainly no electric vehicle.

"People might think it's 10 months because of the limitations of the car, but it's not. We're travelling in 10 months because we're going from season to season.

"So summer season in the Arctic, we'll benefit from the sun for solar, and in Antarctica the expedition season is December. And that's 24/7 daylight as well, which helps us with the solar."

Image caption,
The husband and wife are looking forward to the challenge

The couple are no stranger to defying the odds.

In 2017, they were the first team to complete the Mongol Rally in an electric car - a 10,000-mile (16,000km) journey from London to Mongolia.

"Having done the Mongol Rally, it has given me confidence that we can do this," Mrs Ramsey said.

"We have put the right measures in place and are working with the right people. With our passion and belief and the car being capable I have every confidence that we can do it.

"Yes there will be challenges, it's not going to be an easy ride, but what's an adventure without a challenge?"

She added that the couple would not be forgetting their rowie supplies.

"We'll take a bit of Scotland over with us," she said.

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