Electric vehicle advocate Plug In Adventures has just created a specially modified Nissan Leaf which will be the first all-electric car to enter the Mongol Rally, driving 16,000 km from the UK to Mongolia.
Dubbed the Leaf AT-EV (All Terrain Electric Vehicle), the vehicle is based on a standard 30kWh Nissan Leaf which offers a range of up to 250 km on a single charge.
However, many key modifications have been made to better equip the car once it reaches the more remote parts of the journey.
For instance, the Leaf AT-EV has been fitted with Speedline SL2 Marmora wheels and Maxsport RB3 narrow tires for better performance on unsealed roads, welded plates to the underside of the wishbones, braided brake lines, mudflaps and a 6mm aluminum sump guard add further protection from rough terrain.
And then there is a modified roof rack which provides external storage, fitted with a Lazer Triple-R 16 LED light bar to produce 16,400 lumens of supplementary low-voltage forward lighting during the remotest parts of the trip.
As the Mongol Rally isn't a timed race, the entrants' vehicles ideally provide long distance comfort. The interior modifications to the Leaf AT-EV have been focused on reducing weight and providing more storage space.
The driver and front passenger area is unmodified apart from the addition of rubber floor mats. The rear row of seats and rear seatbelts have been completely removed, contributing to a 32kg weight loss. A fire extinguisher and medical kit have also been integrated into the boot space.
According to Nissan, all modifications to the Leaf AT-EV were carried out by RML Group, a leading high performance automotive engineering company based in the UK.
"The Mongol Rally is our most challenging electric vehicle drive to date, but it's one we've been planning for a number of years," said Chris Ramsey, founder of Plug In Adventures.
“As it will also accept a 240V Commando connection even in the remote areas when my fast-charge options are gone, I can still charge the battery and keep moving. This journey is about the travel experience, though – not reaching the destination in a fast time. I can't wait to get out on the road and introduce more people to the advantages of electric vehicles, whatever country they're from."
Ramsey added that he plans to make regular stops along the way to promote the benefits of running an all-electric vehicle to residents of the countries he's passing through.