This specially modified Nissan Leaf AT-EV is competing in the 10,000-mile Mongol Rally.
The AT-EV stands for All-Terrain Electric Vehicle and will be campaigned by electric vehicle advocate Plug In Adventures. The Mongol Rally takes place this summer and is a 10,000-mile (16,000-kilometers) journey from the U.K. to Mongolia. The Leaf is based on a standard 30-kWh Nissan Leaf Acenta, which offers up to 155 miles (250 km) of all-electric range on a single charge, but key modifications have been made so that the car can compete once it reaches the more remote parts of the journey.
For starters, the Leaf has been outfitted with Speedline SL2 Marmora wheels wrapped with Maxsport RB3 narrow tires for better performance on unsealed roads. Helping protect it from rough terrain are welded plates to the underside of the wishbones, braided brake lines, mudflaps and a 6mm aluminum sump guard. There’s also a modified roof rack to provide external storage and features a Lazer Triple-R 16 LED light bar.
Since the Mongol Rally isn’t a timed race, the interior of the Leaf AT-EV is geared towards providing long-distance comfort. But still, the team focused on reducing weight and providing more storage space, so the rear row of seats and rear seatbelts have been tossed out to shed about 70 pounds (32 kilograms). The driver and front passenger area has been left untouched except for the addition of rubber floor mats. For safety, a fire extinguisher and medical kit have been added to the trunk space.
“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. Not only will we face a dwindling number of EV chargers the further east we go, the terrain also becomes more difficult to navigate,” said Chris Ramsey, founder of Plug In Adventures. “Using a Nissan LEAF for this was an obvious decision though. I’m very 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!”
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