The Nissan LEAF becomes first ever all-electric car to complete the Mongol Rally

Scottish husband and wife team Chris and Julie Ramsey, aka Plug In Adventures, crossed the Mongol Rally finish line in Ulan-Ude on Saturday (9 September), to become the first entrants to complete the epic trans-continental challenge in an all-electric vehicle – a modified 2016 Nissan LEAF dubbed the AT-EV (All-Terrain Electric Vehicle).

Chris and Julie left the rally start line at Goodwood Motor Circuit in the UK on Sunday 16 July and travelled 8,000 miles through 13 countries, charging their car 111 times for less than £100 in electricity costs to reach the Siberian finish line, just north of the border with Mongolia

Their Nissan LEAF will now join other Mongol Rally entrants’ vehicles on a cargo train back across the continent to Estonia, where Chris and Julie will continue the drive back to their hometown of Aberdeen, a further 2,500 miles. In total the pair will clock up more than 10,500 miles during the trip.

Throughout Europe, Chris and Julie had the use of an extensive rapid charger network which can provide an 80% battery charge in just 30 minutes. However, once they got into Bulgaria and beyond, they faced a dwindling number of rapid charge options and instead turned to a variety of alternatives for electric power.

he Nissan LEAF also proved a trusty companion. Chris said; “In terms of vehicle reliability, the car’s been brilliant. We’ve had one puncture, one damaged alloy wheel, a mud flap came off and someone stole one of our stickers. That’s it!”

Whilst on the journey, the Plug In Adventures team was keen to promote the benefits of running an all-electric vehicle and they found interest in the car and their journey in all the countries they visited. Chris was even invited to take part in a series of panel discussions at the Astana International Exposition, bringing the 2017 theme, ‘Future Energy’, to life. The LEAF AT-EV was also put on display at the expo.

The team also tackled some of Europe and Asia’s amazing roads including the Transfăgărășan Highway in Romania. A winding mountain pass which provided a healthy amount of regenerative braking in the car’s B-mode.

The longest stretch the couple did on a single charge with their fully loaded vehicle was 115 miles, pulling in to charge with 6% capacity left. On average Chris and Julie were logging 95 miles between charges, keeping enough spare battery power once they got to the charging locations in case they needed to find an alternate energy source.

Countries travelled through:

Scotland (leaving their Aberdeen home), England (departing from Goodwood Circuit Mongol Rally start on 16 July), France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia (Ulan-Ude finishing line on 9 September)

Charging:

  • 111 vehicle charges
  • 26 were ‘rapid’ (80% charge in 30 minutes)
  • 15 were ‘fast’ (Mennekes Type 2 for a 4-5 hour charge)
  • The rest using domestic plug sockets (12-14 hour charge)

Total cost of electricity to charge the LEAF AT-EV: Less than £100 estimated

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