The truck-like EXV2 is powered by lead-acid batteries and tops out at a mere 25 mph. Before making the long journey to McMurdo, equipment to log data, battery insulation and battery heaters were installed. Additionally, testing was done by NREL at -9°F to gather some data and ensure that the EVs perform as expected. The vehicles arrived in Antarctica before the extreme winter began and have been performing well, logging almost 140 miles in a month. Considering winter temps can get down to -50°F, the next few months will test them to the extreme.
This project is specifically looking at reducing the amount of petroleum used down in Antarctica. Transporting vehicle fuel to Antarctica is costly and resource intensive, and requires great planning as well. Managing energy use very carefully is critical because of potentially harmful effects on the environment.
[Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Image: Dennis Schroeder]