Hummers, to raise Environmental awareness, not the most eco friendly choice I hear you mutter, well there is a twist, they are hybrids. Saying that, batteries are not the most reliable power source in cold situations and the south pole will be cold, but the team seem confident that all aspects have been taken into consideration.
The trip planning came about when a chap called Nick Baggarly received an email during one of his expeditions. Nick is known for ideas like the ‘Latitude Expedition’, which in 1999 took six people from Beijing to San Francisco in two Land Rovers for 80 days and about 25,750 km, and the ‘Longitude Expedition’, which toured approximately 70,800 km for 16 months starting from South Carolina past the southern tip of Africa, Australia, Russia and Alaska, then returning back to South Carolina USA.
This new venture named the Zero South project started five years ago from the email mentioned above that commented “you should now go to where the lines meet” referring to longitude.
The Hummers were chosen by Nick due to their demonstration of waste and inefficiency of vehicles, but to improve them so as becoming champions to the cause of environment awareness. The original idea was to make them fully electric, but after calculations for power and distance to cover this was proven to be impossible with todays technologies, so the hybrid option was taken.
The batteries sit in an insulated box between the chassis rails for optimum performance temperatures and will be charged by the 3.2ltr six cylinder diesel engine running on biodiesel.
Many famous names have helped in the project such as film maker, James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator, Avatar, etc) who also has a tracked Hummer, Jay Leno who was involved with the electric generation from the diesel engine, and Arnie Schwarzenegger’s Hummer mechanic. The adventure is being filmed by Chris Paine who is planning to make a documentary about the whole trip and the preparations of the project.
The mission starts next month and is expected to complete around November this year.
For more information visit the site; Zero South