From February 11 to 25, 2019, the Green Expedition Sojasun brought electric vehicles from Paris all the way to the North Cape inside the Arctic Circle, where temperatures reached -35°C. Among the participants was mountaineer and navigator Eric Loizeau, riding in a Renault ZOE.
The Green Expedition left from Paris with the northernmost point in continental Europe as its destination: Norway’s Nordkapp.
The rally was sponsored by adventurer Eric Loizeau, ambassador for Race For Water, a foundation committed to the protection of our oceans. Eric Loizeau sails aboard the solar-hydrogen mixed propulsion vessel used by the foundation for its expeditions.
This time around, behind the wheel of his Renault ZOE, he confronted the dangerous roads of the North Cape with famous mountaineer and explorer Laurence de la Ferrière as his companion, starting in Oslo, Norway.
From February 11th, the day they set off from the Eiffel Tower in Paris until they reached the top of the world 14 days later, the teams covered 5,000 km in the cold. In vehicles simply equipped with snow tyres, the competitors completed a series of steps, with the distance of each sometimes approaching 400 km.
Besides favouring eco-driving to preserve battery life and therefore complete the steps planned out in the roadbook, the competitors of the Green Expedition Sojasun also needed to demonstrate resourcefulness and efficiency.
Driving at a dynamic speed to increase the battery’s temperature before charging, recharging the battery while it is warm before cooling down and the use of pre-conditioning are other techniques the competitors used to boost the range of their electric cars.
Norway’s charging infrastructure has the reputation of being highly developed, as one in four vehicles in circulation in the country is 100% electric. The only setbacks caused by the need to charge proved to be one-offs, some teams even adapting their racing rhythm so their vehicles could take turns recharging.
Maastricht, Copenhagen, Korgen, Sorkjosen, Honningsvag… From France to Norway, passing through the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, the trek to the Arctic Circle was also an extraordinary journey for the teams. On snow-covered roads, the participants of the Green Expedition drove through beautiful natural backdrops.
The competitors drove along Norwegian fjords under a starry sky, interacted with the Sami people and witnessed the magical spectacle of the northern lights. Not to mention exploring vast national parks where reindeer and musk oxen roam.
The teams were able to totally immerse themselves in the scenery and found their driving pleasure increased tenfold thanks to the lack of noise emissions from their vehicles. After covering several thousand kilometres, the Renault ZOEs commissioned have proven that they are as at home in city centres as they are on the snow-covered roads of the North Cape.