Arctic Circle Challenges: Going green & thinking Clean
Would you rather
Drive a Leaf from London to the North Cape, or cycle from the Arctic to Africa? As one of these Arctic Circle Challenges ended last weekend, Phase II of another began.
“Charge to the circle”: London to the NOrth Cape by Electric Vehicle
The Arctic has recently been a focus in mainstream media. People up north are experiencing some of the most drastic effects on their environment. The enduring question is, how do we keep it from getting worse? Coincidentally or not, Norway is among the leading countries working toward developing a sustainable future. From going all-out electric in tourism transportation (including the “Tesla of the Sea” from our Norway in a Nutshell® product) to new plans for luxury cruise ships, they seem to have it all worked out.
However, going all-out green is easier said than done in most cases. An eco adventure team including race car drivers and EV experts set out on a road trip. Their aim was to promote EV uptake and ocean conservation, calling their project “Charge to the Circle”. Starting from Bristol on July 15th and arriving at the North Cape on July 31st, the crew returned to the UK last Sunday. They took four vehicles between six people, including a Tesla Model S and a Nissan Leaf.
Though their newer Tesla and BMW would have easily managed a more extensive excursion, limitations of the older and cheaper EVs reveal some insights into the current industry infrastructure. The Tesla Roadster couldn’t be charged on newer charging infrastructure, and the Leaf’s small battery size tested driving range limits. Therefore, these kind of trips may require some forward planning and risk-taking.
Developments in the EV Industry
Last year, Visit Norway highlighted the use of EVs in tourism and some of the developments under way at the time. This year, a Leaf made it from London to the Arctic in half a month. The adventure of the EV-team says a lot about the viability of the industry.
Electric cars have become commonplace in most of Norway, with the Nissan Leaf ranked as the best-selling car for the past half year. This and government efforts to eradicate ICE by 2025 help explain why the country continues to extend their EV infrastructure up to the Arctic. Granted, Norway’s investments may not be as easily replicated in other countries of various sizes, geographically and population-wise. However, if you are planning a road trip along Norway’s coast, it may be worth the extra effort (click here for a guide on what you’ll need to know).
Arctic to AFrica: Cycling for Alzheimer’s Research UK
Another group of human heroes have embarked on the second part of their 4500-mile journey from the Arctic to Africa. Last summer, the Yorkshire group cycled from the North Cape to Gothenburg in two weeks. On Tuesday, they set off on another 15-day cycle route from Gothenburg to the Formula One Grand Prix road circuit in Monaco. Their last phase will be in summer 2019, from Monaco to Casablanca in Morocco.
The name of the game is cycling for the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, a choice with a personal story behind it. 2025 appears to be the year of promise, as the research organisation is hoping to develop the first life-changing dementia treatment by then. Most paths to success are not without setbacks. However, the more we understand and can eliminate, the closer we’ll be to finding the most effective solution.
So far, the group have successfully raised nearly half of their goal of £30,000. The previous year held greater challenges than expected, such as temperatures below freezing. It’s hard to believe now that last summer in those parts was considered one of the coldest in years! The group also host an annual cycling event near Harrogate that anyone can participate in.
Cycling in the Circle
Starting soon in the Arctic Circle is another cycling challenge: the Arctic Race of Norway. This one is not as extensive, though it is steadily increasing in popularity within sports viewing events. Broadcast last year in 190 countries, the Arctic Race is now the 10th most followed race in the world on Facebook.
This intense race runs along the northernmost coast of Arctic Norway and lasts only four days! The route is divided into four stages, of which the first starts next Thursday, August 16th.