It’s always fun to push an EV to the max and see what you can get it to do on a single battery. Sometimes that fun involves a tow truck and maybe pushing the EV around a bit (I know this from experience), but other times, it’s great to see the vehicle pass the test. Max Adventure, a team of automotive adventurers in the UK, must have thought the same way, because they decided to take a Kia EV6 to its limits on the longest climb possible in England. They went from Britain’s lowest road to Britain’s highest road, and did this on a single charge.
The Kia EV6 ‘GT Line S’ AWD, which can easily take you from Britain’s lowest road (Holme Fen) to its highest (Great Dun Fell), drove the 209 miles and ascended 2791 feet to complete the mission. The Max Adventure crew then decided to visit Britain’s highest public house, the Tan Hill Inn. It was a suitable conclusion to the challenge because at the start of the day, the vehicle had started in Britain’s lowest pub with a full battery.
“We are amazed just how well the Kia EV6 has fared in this test. We were nervous about the final push up Great Dun Fell, as you rise 2,100 ft. in just 5 miles, but the car sailed up,” said Project Leader Mac Mackenney. “The decision to then continue to the Tan Hill Inn was made with some trepidation, but we needn’t have worried as descending the five miles down put a staggering 10 miles back in the battery, such is the efficiency of the car’s energy recuperation system.”
The Kia EV6 is a high-performance vehicle that can travel long distances in comfort. Although the team didn’t need it, the car includes ultra-fast 800V charging technology and a vast real-world driving range, making it perfect for simple cross-country touring. Its all-electric dual-motor powertrain produces up to 321 bhp and 605 Nm torque, which is more than enough to tackle Britain’s toughest route.
At the Admiral Wells in Peterborough, the team closed the charging port before departing with a fully charged EV and breakfast. They then drove to Holme Fen, which is 9 feet below sea level and Britain’s lowest point, where they began the journey. The crew departed Cambridgeshire around 11 am and made every effort to keep to the posted speeds, finishing in six hours with driver changes and rest breaks.
With special permission to reach the radar station at the top of Great Dun Fell, the team was able to park at the radome building’s base — the site’s main feature operated by NATS Holdings (formerly National Air Traffic Services). The summit is typically hidden in clouds for two-thirds of the year, but on July 29th, despite the fact that it was a hot day, the crew had perfect weather for the journey.
To commemorate the completion of the Fen to Fell drive, the team decided that a drink in Britain’s highest pub, the Tan Hill Inn, was required. The journey, which involved driving 2,300 feet down before climbing 1,732 feet up again to the historic hostelry, was anything but simple.
At the end, the Kia EV6 finished with a shocking 86 miles of indicated range after already completing 239 uphill miles. This meant there was charge left to descend the Yorkshire Dales to the nearest charging station before the team departed.
This Isn’t The First Or Last EV Trip For Max Adventure
The Max Adventure team is already planning their next EV adventure and will provide more information soon. The Max Adventure team is no stranger to driving challenges. Having broken the 96 and 131 Counties, Cape to Cape, and London to Cape Town records with builder’s trucks, gone over the Himalayas in classic cars, swum amphibious vehicles across the Bering Strait with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, driven the coldest, hottest, and toughest roads on Earth for an award-winning “Driven to Extremes” TV series on Discovery Channel, they’ve done it all before.
Mac Mackenney FRGS, the company’s founder, has a long track record of working with automobile manufacturers as well as OEMs, oil and tire companies, equipment and lifestyle brands, too (which is probably how they pay for their adventures).
The EV World Needs More Of This
Historically, automotive adventures have always made for good reading and viewing. Going back as far as the trip that inspired the Interstate Highway System in the United States, a military trip from Washington DC to San Francisco, it has always been fun and exciting to take vehicles places they technically don’t belong to prove that they do, in fact, really belong there.
In that old adventure, it was gas-powered cars that struggled to cross a continent, and there just weren’t the roads or infrastructure for cars. In those days, people took trains or stagecoaches to get where they needed to go, and people thought cars just wouldn’t ever do anything like that. Taking those initial journeys proved that cars could not only make the journey, but that it was a good idea to make such journeys easier. Eventually, one of the young lieutenants (the guys who usually get into trouble in the military) rose through the ranks and then successfully ran for president.
The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was the result.
If we can get more EV adventures going globally, it shows that there’s not only demand to take EVs to “impossible” places, but it also proves that they can do it. Like the early roads of the United States, there are many places where the infrastructure just isn’t ready for trips. Encouraging people to see EV infrastructure as worth it is worth the sacrifice it takes to get out on these kinds of trips.
Once we get the infrastructure challenges out of the way, the point of such trips will be able to show that EVs can exceed the capabilities of gas cars, just like they could back when there weren’t gas stations everywhere and the military struggled to cross a continent with motor vehicles.
Images (including featured image) provided by Kia UK.
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