(Correne Coetzer, originally published on pythom.com)
Over the past years we saw custom-build Russian vehicles in the Arctic, in particular the crossing the North Pole by the Vasily Elagin and his MLAE team in 2013.
This year, California-based team, ZERO SOUTH, with two heavily modified hybrid electric and biofuel Hummers, is traveling in the Alaskan Arctic from Prudhoe Bay to Barrow.
Explaining their name, ZERO SOUTH, on their website, ZERO fossil fuels to the SOUTH Pole, their goal eventually is to go to Antarctica at the end of the year and drive 1200 km from Union Glacier to the South Pole.
Testing vehicles in the North
In February, they turned their steering wheels North, to Alaska, on their 71° 17’ North Expedition (#7117), with a snow and ocean-ice route plan from Prudhoe Bay to Barrow. They are accompanied by local Alaskan guides in a truck.
One of the two Hummers tows a modified airstream on sleds to use as sleeping quarters. Their 1962 Airstream, which sleeps 6 people and has a built-in toilet, features Aerogel Spaceloft insulation, which contains the lightest most insulative material known to man, they report. Their Lithium battery boxes are also insulated with Spaceloft.
The two heavily modified Hummers’ wheels are replaced by snow-friendly Mattracks with special insulation designed to keep subzero temperatures outside the rigs. Read details about the modifications on their website.
This Alaska mini-expedition of about 300 miles is used to test the vehicles. The Zero South team says they need to determine what works and what does not in polar climate and terrain conditions. Watch a video here to hear what problems they ha encountered early in the #7117 North Expedition with the PTVs (Polar Traverse Vehicles).
These vehicles were seven years in development with about 50 volunteers who have been working on this project. "Our multicultural, multinational expedition team members have varied backgrounds. We have two US Marine Corp veterans, one a mechanic, the other a contractor, software and hardware engineers, technology strategist, an entrepreneur, a scientist, an aspiring marriage and family counsellor, and media producer,” reported the ZERO SOUTH 7117 North team.
ZERO SOUTH Hummers sites:
Vehicles specifications on website
Russian amphibious cars crossed the Arctic Ocean
#polar #Arctic2016 #Antarctica #SouthPole2016 #Hummers