Nissan Leaf plug-in enters 16,000km Mongol Rally
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Electric vehicle advocate, Plug In Adventures, has created a specially modified Nissan Leaf that will be the first all-electric car to enter the Mongol Rally, driving 16,000 km from the UK to Mongolia in summer 2017.
Dubbed the LEAF AT-EV (All Terrain Electric Vehicle), the vehicle is based on a standard 30kWh Nissan Leaf Acenta, which offers a range of up to 250km on a single charge.
“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.
“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.”
Key modifications have been made to better equip the car once it reaches the more remote parts of the journey.
The LEAF AT-EV has been fitted with Speedline SL2 Marmora wheels and Maxsport RB3 narrow tyres, for better performance on unsealed roads.
Welded plates to the underside of the wishbones, braided brake lines, mudflaps and a 6mm aluminium sump guard add further protection from rough terrain.
A modified roof rack provides external storage and is fitted with a Lazer Triple-R 16 LED light bar to produce 16,400 lumens of supplementary low-voltage forward lighting.
As the Mongol Rally isn’t a timed race, the entrants’ vehicles ideally provide long distance comfort. The interior modifications to the LEAF AT-EV have been focused on reducing weight and providing more storage space.
The driver and front passenger area is unmodified apart from the addition of rubber floor mats. The rear row of seats and rear seatbelts have been completely removed, contributing to a 32kg weight loss. A Fire Extinguisher and Medi Kit have also been integrated into the boot space.
The Mongol Rally is a 16,000km charity drive across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia which takes place each summer and first started in 2004.
Rules state that participants must drive a small, sub-1.0-litre engine car as it will make the event more of a challenge with a greater chance of a breakdown meaning drivers can interact with locals along the way.
The drive is unsupported with no ‘on the road backup.’ Participants are expected to get themselves out of trouble.
The Leaf will be the first electric vehicle to compete once the 2017 Mongol Rally launches on Sunday 16 July.