If you were planning to drive from the UK to Mongolia on rudimentary road, would you choose a Nissan LEAF for the journey? That’s what Plug In Adventures has decided to do. They have modified a stock Nissan LEAF with the 30 kWh battery to take on the journey. They call their car an AT-EV, which stands for All Terrain Electric Vehicle. Part of their mission is to introduce people who may never have seen an electric car to the idea of fossil fuel free motoring as they go. They will also chart where charging facilities can be found along the way to help other electric car drivers in the future.
The modifications to their Nissan LEAF are really quite modest. The rear seat has been removed. The stock wheels and tires have been swapped for Speedline SL2 Marmora wheels and Maxsport RB3 narrow tires for better performance on unpaved roads. Steel plates have been welded to the underside of the suspension wishbones to protect them from damage from rocks and other road hazards. A 6 millimeter thick sump guard has been installed beneath the motor for the same reason.
An external roof rack has been added for extra storage with a Lazer Triple-R 16 LED light bar has been mounted to it to help light up the road when the journey transitions to darkened roadways far from civilization. Reinforced braided stainless steel brake lines have also been substitute for the stock items. A fire extinguisher and medical kit were added to the trunk area.
“The Mongol Rally is our most challenging electric vehicle drive to date, but it’s one we’ve been planning for a number of years,” said Chris Ramsey, founder of Plug In Adventures. “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. 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. I can’t wait to get out on the road and introduce more people to the advantages of electric vehicles, whatever country they’re from.”
Cleantechnica Editor in Chief Zachary Shahan has been using a Nissan LEAF as his daily driver for over a year and reports the car is indeed dependable and reliable — just the thing, in other words, for a 10,000 mile adventure on roads that vary from poor to non-existent.
Source: CleanTechnica Photo credits: Plug In Adventures