This modified Hummer hybrid will go to the South Pole on biofuel

Zero South Has Been Planning This Trip For At Least Seven Years

Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer
Zero South Biodiesel Electric Hummer
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One modified Hummer H1, traveling with another vehicle that looks like a modified Hummer H1, will spend six to 10 days driving to the South Pole, two days camping at the Pole, and take another six to 10 days driving back to the coast of Antarctica. Assuming all goes well. That's not guaranteed, since this blue beast really is - fundamentally, at least - a Hummer H1, not just Hummer-like bodywork over non-Hummer internals like you'd find on, say, the Dakar-winning "Mini."

The Zero South team has been working on this vehicle for seven years (we checked it out at SEMA in 2008 and in 2010). The frame, suspension, axles, hubs, differentials, and the body are pure 1998 Hummer, the funky bodywork being from an insulated H1 ambulance, the uprated driveline from an armored H1. The original H1 used a 6.5-liter V8, but here that ICE engine has been swapped for a 3.2-liter turbodiesel V6 straight-six that will run on aviation-grade biofuel pulled from two 30-gallon tanks.

Called the Hybrid Polar Traverse Vehicles, the serial hybrids use that engine to power a 216-horsepower electric motor that juices up a 24-kWr battery stored in an insulated, five-foot-long battery box between the frame rails. That battery powers two 200-hp electric motors, one at each axle, that will keep the tracks going through the Antarctic December half-light.

We aren't sure what the second vehicle is based on, but its internals mirror the Hummer's, it has the exact same specs, and it looks almost the same except it's painted orange. They will pull a modified Airstream trailer called the "Snowstream," and are planning and eight-episode TV series as well as a feature film to document the expedition.

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