Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummers Headed For South Pole

JUN 1 2015 BY MARK KANE 9

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer expedition to the South Pole

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer expedition to the South Pole

Antarctica isn’t the best environment for vehicles. However, there is a project called Zero South that has set a goal of reaching the South Pole “using zero fossil fuels” vehicles.

The team that is preparing the expedition is developing a plug-in hybrid version of two civilian Hummers, which will get electric drive and a biofuel range extender.

On the drivetran side we saw two UQM marked motors (150 kW each), while the battery pack has the amount of energy similar to electric cars (24 kWh). REx has power of 160 kW.

Total distance is some 1,200 miles one way. Expedition should begin this December.

THE MISSION

In a world where our natural resources are becoming scarce, often the only way to make an impact, is to go to the extremes.  That is the focus of ZERO SOUTH.  In the harshest, most unforgiving environment on earth, a team of visionaries will travel more than one-thousand miles through the most remote and inhospitable terrain this planet has to offer, using two cutting-edge, hybrid-electric “Polar Traverse Vehicles” (PTVs).  In doing so, they will illuminate what humanity is capable of achieving without a drop of oil.

ZERO SOUTH means ZERO fossil fuels to the SOUTH Pole. The expedition will be powered by batteries and biofuels. The choice of a Hummer may seem ironic, however people are “polarized” by these vehicles.  To some, they are contemporary symbols of gross consumer waste and inefficiency, while others view them as remarkable multipurpose machines capable of extreme on and off-road performance.  Regardless of your viewpoint, we will bring our audience with us on a relevant adventure that relies on the latest hybrid-electric technology to power a team to the South Pole. In doing so, will spark a global desire to recycle, reuse, repurpose and rethink the world we live in.

We will documenting every step of this incredible journey.  This series and feature film will follow the entire process starting at ZERO SOUTH headquarters (Sony Pictures Studios) with the arrival of two, bone-stock civilian Hummers, all the way to the final moment when the team plugs the vehicles in for a charge at the ceremonial South Pole. ZERO SOUTH will inspire the same excitement of adventure and scientific discovery that humanity experienced during the great, heroic age of exploration in the early 1920’s, and convey this same wonder to a new generation of explorers.  The core content for the production will be produced in 4K-3D using the Sony F-55 camera allowing multiple distribution formats for the project.  These distribution options include a ten-episode television series (3D, 4K or HD) and a feature film in both 3D and 4K.

The completion of the ZERO SOUTH expedition will coincide with the one hundred year anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s most famous Antarctic Adventure, the Endurance expedition.  A century ago, the great South Pole explorers used technology that included skis and dogs and coats made of caribou fur.  The ZERO SOUTH team aims to arrive with technology for the next 100 years.”

Here is a set of photos and videos:

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummers

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummers

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummers

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummers

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummer

ZERO SOUTH – Happy Birthday PTVs from ZERO SOUTH on Vimeo.

ZERO SOUTH POLAR TRAVERSE VEHICLES UNVEILING AT PIER 9 IN SAN FRANCISCO (1) from ZERO SOUTH on Vimeo.

ZERO SOUTH POLAR TRAVERSE VEHICLES UNVEILING AT PIER 9 IN SAN FRANCISCO (3) from ZERO SOUTH on Vimeo.

ZERO SOUTH POLAR TRAVERSE VEHICLES UNVEILING AT PIER 9 IN SAN FRANCISCO (2) from ZERO SOUTH on Vimeo.

Source: BBC

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9 Comments on "Zero South Plug-In Hybrid Hummers Headed For South Pole"

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sven

“. . . all the way to the final moment when the team plugs the vehicles in for a charge at the ceremonial South Pole.”

This is moronic. What are they going to do? Are they going to haul a biodiesel generator, biofuel, and EVSE all the way to the south pole just so that they can say the they plugged in and charged at the south pole? I hope their charger doesn’t get ICED. 😉 They could just use the biofuel that they are hauling to re-fill the tanks on their EREV Hummers to power the range extender. What they’re purposing to do is like going on a long road trip in a Volt with a gasoline generator and a couple of gasoline cans, and using the gasoline to run the generator to charge the Volt instead of just re-filling the Volt’s gas tank. Oy vey!

kdawg

You’re right. No one should ever do anything, ever.

sven

You’re right. Everyone who drives an EREV should carry a portable generator and L2 charging station to charge the EREV’s battery once they reach their destination, because plugging in and driving in EV mode is far superior to using the REx to power the EREV.

sven

“However, there is a project called Zero South that has set a goal of reaching the South Pole ‘using zero fossil fuels’ vehicles.”

The VAST majority of the trip uses fossil fuel vehicles to reach the South Pole. I guess they’re not counting the fossil fuel vehicles used to transport the drivers and Hummers from California to Antarctica via cargo ship, taxi to airport, airplane to Chile, taxi from airport to ship pier, and passenger ship from Chile to Antarctica. But other that that, they are using zero fossil fuel vehicles to reach the South Pole. :-/

MikeM

This seems like a vision from a world going mad.

I hope the team of visionary “engineers, celebrities and explorers” can keep those batteries warm.
And those individual tracked “wheels” look especially inadequate to me.

Oh, and also they are looking for a “Chief Hybrid Vehicle Engineer”. Maybe the last one took off in a funk! I know I would have.

Lensman

“The VAST majority of the trip uses fossil fuel vehicles to reach the South Pole. I guess they’re not counting the fossil fuel vehicles used to transport the drivers and Hummers from California to Antarctica via cargo ship, taxi to airport, airplane to Chile, taxi from airport to ship pier, and passenger ship from Chile to Antarctica. But other that that, they are using zero fossil fuel vehicles to reach the South Pole. :-/”

I dunno; are you sure they’re not planning to use fossil-fueled planes to fly in more biodiesel to refuel the Hummer crawlers during their Antarctic trip?

:-/

This is the engineering equivalent of a stupendous triumph of style over substance. Just how much fossil fuel is going to be expended in transporting and providing support for these nominally biodiesel powered crawlers? This is even worse than claiming cars powered by hydrogen fuel are “green”.

Speculawyer

What an expensive and obscure thing to do.

BTW, couldn’t you just a fuel an airplane with biofuel, fly it over the pole, and then say you flew to the pole with zero fossil fuels?

Lensman

Well said. The goal of these mad engineers and mechanics seems to be simply to be able to say that they reach the pole in a manner nobody ever did before… if you split hairs finely enough. If their goal actually is to show what can be done without use of any fossil fuels… then this is a FAIL of awesome, epic proportions.

Lensman

From the mission statement:

“The choice of a Hummer may seem ironic…”

No, I was thinking “moronic”. Also, all too revealing of the mindset of the people mounting this expedition, given the epic level of greenwashing going on here, in pretending that this expedition is using no fossil fuel.

Reminds me of the cross-country EV expedition which drafted behind a gas-powered support vehicle that drove ahead to “break the trail”, so they could claim they got more range in their EV. But considering how much fossil fuel must be expended to get these enlarged Hummers to Antarctica and back, along with the mountain of supplies, fuel, and support needed for the team, this will be something like three orders of magnitude worse.

Maybe someday someone will celebrate an anniversary of Amundsen reaching the South Pole by flying over it in a solar-powered airplane. That would be a real celebration of “green” tech, unlike this one. Given the “white nights” of the Antarctic summer, that should be possible without needing any batteries at all.