The Max Adventure team has completed the Driven To Extremes Euro EV Marathon and driven a fully electric Kia EV6 Air from Oslo, Norway, to Portugal, beating its original target by arriving in just 3.75 days and having added an extra country to its itinerary.
Covering 16 countries and 3,174 miles (5,109 kms) in a little over 89 hours, the challenge was designed to show how easy it is to cover huge distances in a short time using a standard EV and existing charging infrastructure. The adventure started as the team were waved off from Kia’s Norwegian headquarters in Oslo, with Kia Portugal in Lisbon welcoming the travellers at journey’s end.
The team improved on the time set by racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, who undertook the drive in 1952, by 47 minutes. This is understood to be the first time the route has been attempted in a fully electric vehicle. Having completed the epic 3,174-mile adventure, the team arrived in Lisbon to mark World EV Day on September 9th.
Using the Kia EV6 Air’s impressive range and 800V rapid-charging technology to maximum effect, the team also relied on ‘Kia Charge’ to cut the journey time. Allowing easy recharging, the ‘Kia Charge’ service lets EV owners access more than 400,000 public chargers across Europe from a single account with a single RFID card. This provided the team with rapid charging locations along its route, enabling them to get back on the road as quickly as possible after each stop. The EV6’s rapid charging technology was critical to the team’s recorded time.
Speaking of the challenge, Project Leader Mac Mackenney said: “This wasn’t about trying to beat Sir Stirling, but demonstrate that mammoth trans-continental drives in an EV can easily be undertaken here and now in 2022. Many people still view EVs as ineffective or unable to cope as a daily means of transport outside of city life, but the Kia EV6, and the charging network show that just isn’t true.”
We’d like to thank Kia UK, as well as Kia Norway and Kia Portugal, for their support and hospitality, and want to recognise the enthusiasm and kindness we’ve experienced on the road as we’ve travelled from the top of Europe to the bottom.”
Originally intending to cover 15 countries in 120 hours, the team were able to shave more than a day and add an extra stop to their itinerary after it became clear just how quickly they could cover the distance. Only stopping to charge and change drivers, the team operated in shifts and adhered to the speed limits of each country visited.
Despite recording the journey, the drive wasn’t about setting the fastest time possible, and the team made detours to honour Sir Stirling along the way. This included the 7,500-foot high Julier Pass in the Swiss Alps, part of the original 1952 route, and Monaco, which allowed the team to drive the historic Grand Prix circuit.
In addition to the support of Kia UK, and the generous loan of an EV6 ‘Air’ for the challenge, project partner Kumho Tyre (UK) supplied the ECSTA PS71 EV tyre that is original fit on the challenge car and used throughout the trial. Partner DFDS provided ferry crossings to France and then again to the start point in Oslo to ensure that the team were as rested as possible ahead of the marathon drive. Keeping everyone fed and nourished, the AMG Group supplied Wayfarer expedition rations to ensure team meals were quick and fuss free.
Leaving Oslo, the team set a course for the border with Sweden. From there it was destination Denmark before driving through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Monaco, Spain and finally Portugal.
The team departed on Sunday, 5th September at 15:00 and crossed the border into Portugal, at Vilar Formoso on Thursday, 8th September at 08:12. This marked the start and stop point for the timing – as per the original drive in 1952.