Tuning Up an Antarctic EV Shows the Challenges Posed by Climate Change

Turns out Antarctica's been a little warmer than expected lately

Antarctica rover
Whether you're at the poles or the equator, climate change is an issue.
Venturi/Louis Marie Blondel

Here’s the good news for those invested in the growth of electric vehicles: you can now find EVs in use on literally every continent on the planet. Here’s the bad news: even with a lack of emissions, climate change can still be a concern for electric vehicles, depending on where on the planet they happen to be.

As Engadget’s reporting on the subject reveals, if you travel to Antarctica, you’ll find an EV in use there. But even that Antarctic EV — the Venturi — needed some recent adjustments to make it better suited for a climate that’s a little less cold than its engineers planned for.

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An announcement from the manufacturer explained the ways in which a team of technicians optimized the Antarctic EV, which is used for exploration, to be more in harmony with the local environment. Some of that has to do with the temperatures it had been designed to function under. The vehicle was built to function with the temperature at around -50°C. But it’s been considerably warmer since its arrival there, with temperatures at a much balmier -10°C.

Several modifications were made to the vehicle to improve on its performance, including the addition of advanced ventilation and cooling systems, as well as a re-imagined tread system that minimized the amount of snow and ice that could cause obstructions. The changes should optimize the performance of the Venturi Antarctica so it has less of an impact on the local environment. That, in turn, will give it a larger range — benefiting the scientists who use it and the research they’re engaged in. It’s a win for all involved.

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