THE CHALLENGE: BUILDING AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE FOR SCIENTISTS IN ANTARCTICA, EXTREME COLD RESISTANT (-40°C)
The Antarctica project was driven by Prince Albert II of Monaco following his three-week visit to Antarctica in January 2009. For VENTURI, the challenge has been to provide the scientific community with a clean and sustainable means of transport having no negative impact on its working environment.
Scientific research in Antarctica is crucial and helps us understand aspects of climate change. It generates a substantial amount of human activity. For several decades, the designed infrastructures have focused on reducing scientists’ impact on this unique and fragile environment, which is protected by strict regulations. Current means of transport are essentially diesel-powered and are a main source of pollution. However, research areas often take place in specific protected zones, in the scope of drastic conditions set to avoid any type of pollution.
Between 2013 and 2015, VENTURI Automobiles developed a prototype for the Antarctica, which was initially tested in cold regions in Europe. Making good use of the data collected from this first version, as well as the technology developed for its race cars (which use the same battery cells), the VENTURI engineering team has now come up with a second version: equipped with higher performance battery technology and improved overall efficiency, the Antarctica has wheel-mounted caterpillar tracks, 2x60kW power and weighs in at around 2 tonnes. Designed to operate in the extreme conditions of Antarctica, it can carry three people, as well as luggage and equipment. It has a range of approximately 45 km and a speed of 20 km/h in realistic operating conditions.