Is it thinking outside the box to set about transforming an all-electric car like the Nissan LEAF into an all-terrain vehicle? Absolutely, but it’s downright madness to then take it on a 16,000-km trek from the UK to Mongolia! The Plug In Adventures company is planning on doing just that when it takes part in this summer’s Mongol Rally aboard a modified LEAF.
The Nissan LEAF AT-EV (All Terrain Electric Vehicle) has a maximum range of 250 km. It’s important to note of course that the long-distance rally is not a timed race, but the challenge is a highly daunting one nonetheless.
"Not only will we face a dwindling number of EV chargers the farther east we go, the terrain also becomes more difficult to navigate,” explained Chris Ramsey, founder of Plug In Adventures. “Using a Nissan LEAF for this was an obvious decision. I'm 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.”
Ramsey expects to make many stops along the way, not only to recharge the battery but also to promote the benefits of electric vehicles in the areas he travels through.
The Nissan LEAF AT-EV is equipped with new narrow wheels and Maxsport tires to help it survive unpaved roads, while various elements have been added to protect components in the under-carriage. On the roof, the modified baggage rack offers added cargo space and includes an LED light bar for lighting up the dark zones the team is sure to encounter.
Inside, the rear bench has been removed to lighten the LEAF by some 32 kg. The trunk, meanwhile, will hold a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit.