Quiz time. What's built by a Prince, in the French Riviera, that has 8 wheels, which drive two tracks, powered with a solar pv system, and runs at 40-degrees-below-zero Celsius? In snow? And ice too?
Answer? This thing.
First sketches of the Venturi Antarctica
What is it?
"More than just an electric Ratrack, Antarctica is a representation of a robot car of the future. A clean and intelligent robot designed for intensive use under the extreme weather conditions of Antarctic.
Surprisingly, Antarctica will be the first non-polluting vehicle to circulate in this natural reserve, land of peace and science.
Antarctica is of historical importance from an environmental and technical point of view. Venturi is the first car manufacturer to take up such a challenge."
Sacha Lakic, designer
Specs? Of course, here you go:
- Engine type: 2 x 20 kW continuous / 2 x 30 kW peak
- Max. speed on caterpillar tracks: 20 to 25 km/h (12.5 to 15.5 mph) (45 km/h (28 mph) on tires)
- Range: 20 km (12.5 miles) / 40 km (25 miles) with trailer
- Seats two, plus gear
- Joystick drive-by-wire technology
- 8hr charge time
- Battery: Lithium Iron Phosphate
- Independent track drive (two motors, each driving one track)
Photos? Sure, plenty of 'em, courtesy of Venturi. But first. Before you start thinking this is just some kind of indulgent exercise in EV applications where EV applications don't make much sense, we have to ask: Have you ever been to the Arctic, or sub-Arctic, or maybe even the Antarctic? This includes Alaska? Well we have.
They say smell is the most poignant trigger of memories, and you want to know what we remember of our exploits on the Arctic Circle? Diesel. The pervasive stench of diesel fuel, virtually everywhere there was a human presence. So the Prince's comments: "The current means of transport for the most part are diesel-powered and constitute the main source of pollution.", and the policies of "...protected zones in which the research is constrained by draconian measures against contamination from all types of pollution."? Right on the money.
Alrighty then, let's look at some photos, and for more information, go the the Venturi Antarctica website.
...more development testing
Glacier-mitt-friendly drive-by-wire capable controls
Sensible sub-zero explorer shoes
Seats two, with luggage
Just for the record, Venturi isn't just another pretty face in EVs. From Nicolas Mauduit, CTO, Venturi Automobiles, on their decision to manufacture EVs:
- Venturi decided to enter the championship as a manufacturer to show the high performances of our powertrain
- We are focus to obtain an efficient powertrain to compete against the others. For us efficiency is the most important subject in this championship. - Venturi developed electric car for more than 14 years and already produced a range of electric powertrain with power from 200kW to 1MW.
- Venturi is holding the FIA record for the world’s fastest Electric Vehicle on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
On that last bit? Remember this?