The World’s First-Ever Zero-Emissions Polar Exploration Vehicle
Updated: Feb 13
Meet the Venturi Antarctica All-Electric Vehicle
After over a decade of hard work and testing out two complete prototypes, the final product launch of the Venturi Antarctica finally occurred on June 1, 2021. This game-changing all-electric vehicle has been transporting scientists and lab equipment in eastern Antarctica since December 2021, which is a challenging feat given the frigid environment. Let’s look at what makes the world’s first-ever zero-emissions polar exploration vehicle special.
Design Features of the Venturi Antarctica The most important feature of any electric vehicle is its battery life. The cold temperatures in Antarctica put extra strain on batteries, so the Venturi Antarctica was designed with state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries capable of storing six times more energy than traditional lead acid batteries. This immense power allows the car to last up to 12 hours without needing to be recharged, making it ideal for long treks across treacherous terrain. Additionally, these batteries can withstand temperatures as low as -50°C (-58°F).
The Antarctica’s battery capacity is 52.6 kWh, and it has two 60 kW motors (one per track). This brings a full range of 50km (31 miles) coupled with an overall speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), and you have the perfect vehicle for a polar climate.
Another important aspect of this electric vehicle is its lightweight construction. Weighing in at just 2,500kg (5,512 lbs), this car is much lighter than traditional gas-powered vehicles, which can weigh upwards of 4,000 kg (8,800 lbs). This is thanks to its carbon fiber frame and lightweight composite materials used for its body panels. By reducing weight without sacrificing strength or durability, the Venturi Antarctica can easily traverse snow-covered roads and icy terrain without getting stuck or suffering damage due to rough conditions.
Lastly, its unique driving system consists of two tracks for maximum control regardless of the terrain you’re navigating. Combining these features with springs, two shock absorbers per track, and the suspension allows drivers confident control irrespective of whether they’re on flat ground or going up steep hills.
Further Improvements After extended periods in the sub-zero temperatures, it was surprising to see especially warm Antarctica climates having an adverse effect on the Venturi vehicle. For this reason, the company devised a plan to adapt the vehicle to fight the warming temperatures. This involved replacing the sprockets that guide the tracks. The new additions would thwart snow accumulating and reduce the vibration, which hindered the vehicle's range and performance.
With temperatures hitting an almost unheard-of 14F during the hottest part of the day, modifications to the ventilation of the cabin needed to be instituted. The 6-passenger vehicle’s interior and power components needed to be cooled down.
Conclusion: Overall, the Venturi Antarctica has proven an incredibly reliable all-electric vehicle thanks to its advanced battery technology, lightweight construction materials, and superior driving system. With governments worldwide pushing for more efficient transportation options, we’ll likely see more vehicles like this one in the future — and hopefully, they’ll be able to make their way into everyday use soon!