A TEAM from Nissan, together with the new 2018 Nissan LEAF, were involved in an extreme test of both electric and human endurance in support of an all-electric attempt by Autocar magazine at the National Three Peaks Challenge.
The National Three Peaks Challenge involves ascending and descending the three highest peaks of Scotland (Ben Nevis, 1345m), England (Scafell Pike, 978m) and Wales (Snowdon, 1085m), and driving between all three, in just 24 hours.
With the new 40kWh LEAF offering a larger capacity battery and longer range (168-miles WLTP combined), and the UK’s rapid charging infrastructure well developed along the route, two teams comprising individuals from Autocar, Chargemaster, Plug In Adventures and Nissan joined forces on a warm June day to take on the challenge.
Nissan’s representative adventurers comprised of climber Gareth Dunsmore (Electric Vehicle Director, Nissan Europe) and driver Chris Ramsey (Director, Plug In Adventures). Gareth took on the 23 miles (37km) of walking – including 3064 metres (10,052ft) of ascending – whilst Chris was responsible for the 462 miles (744km) of driving and scheduled rapid charge stops.
Split into two Nissan LEAFs, the teams started at 12pm at Ben Nevis on one of Scotland’s hottest days of the year with temperatures nearing 30-degrees Celsius. Descending the mountain mid-afternoon, the journey continued south to England, the Lake District and Scafell Pike, which was climbed in the very early hours of the morning with ambient temperatures still topping 20-degrees.
The morning of the second day brought the teams into Wales and towards their final destination of Snowdonia and the final peak – Snowdon. With the Nissan pairing of Gareth and Chris having gained a respectable lead on the other car, they arrived at Snowdon with just 14% battery charge remaining, but enough time for Gareth to ascend and descend the mountain to re-join the LEAF at 11:40am. They had successfully completed the challenge in a total time of 23 hours and 40 minutes.
Gareth Dunsmore, Electric Vehicle Director, Nissan Europe, commented, “They say there’s never a bad day out of the office and this was one I’ll certainly never forget. Climbing three mountains in a single day and only using 100% electric power to drive between them is the epitome of a sustainable adventure.”
The 2018 Nissan LEAF joins just one other 100% electric vehicle – a Tesla Model S – known to have completed the difficult challenge in less than 24 hours.
Chris Ramsey, Plug In Adventures, added; “This was my first big drive in the new 40kWh LEAF and I was really impressed with the car. Having taken a 30kWh LEAF from the UK to Siberia and back, I’m used to long-distance EV journeys, but this was a different type of challenge. The extra range achievable between rapid charges obviously makes a big impact and the ProPILOT system helps relieve some of that motorway fatigue too. ePedal was great at encouraging efficient driving, but I also adopted some of my tried and tested techniques to maximise our range!”
The Nissan LEAF vs. the Three Peaks is a feature in this week’s Autocar magazine (out 25th July).
The new Nissan LEAF, the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, is the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe for the first half of this year. More than 18,000 new Nissan LEAF vehicles were registered in Europe between January and June. European customers have now placed more than 37,000 orders for the new LEAF since it first went on sale last October 2017.