Antartica’s only electric vehicle must be redesigned because of climate change
Most of tram upgrade increasing productivity or limitbut Antarctica’s single EV has been adjusted due to the fact of climate change. Venturi has disclosure that it upgraded it Antarctic electric explorer Venturi early last year due warmer conditions on the continent. The machine was originally designed to operate in winter temperatures of -58F, but the south pole is now relatively pleasant at 14F – and that affects both crew and performance.
The company has added a ventilation system and air intakes at the front of the Antarctic to prevent overheating in the cockpit, while additional intakes keep electronics from cooking. A redesigned wheel sprocket is also needed to maximize the ability of the EV to be tracked. Warmer snow sticks to the sprockets, creating vibrations as it compacts and hardens. Future upgrades will help restore range lost due to snow consistency changes. Antarctica was built to cover 31 miles, but scientists have limited that to 25 miles.
Ars technique note Venturi’s tram has been in use at Princess Elisabeth Station in the Belgian Antarctic since December 2021. It has two modest 80HP motors and is only 52.6kWh battery (plus an optional second pack), but raw power shouldn’t be an issue. The design allows station residents to conduct research without contributing to emissions or contaminate a relatively pristine area.
You may not see Venturi make similar climate-related upgrades for a while. However, refreshing shows how global warming can affect transportation in subtle ways. Venturi and other manufacturers may have to design their next rovers with the assumption that Antarctica won’t be as cold as before.