Mattracks & Zero South

The ZERO SOUTH team of ten is now rendezvousing in Alaska, in February, starting at Prudhoe Bay to Barrow for a test run of the ZERO SOUTH team and vehicles. The team’s goal is to complete the 408-mile round trip test drive prior to their Antarctic expedition Nov. 15-Dec. 17, 2016.

ZERO SOUTH is an expedition of the South Pole set to embark December, 2016 driving to the absolute highest point in the U.S., see the northern lights and beautiful scenery, winter wildlife and interact with fascinating people and cultures. The ZERO SOUTH expedition aims to drive the first hybrid vehicles to the South Pole, traversing the harshest and most extreme environment on Earth to highlight the capabilities of new technology to power the next generation’s vehicles and the world.

On the 408-mile test drive, it is commonly known that no roads to Barrow exist, making winter the only time it is possible to drive there. Located 320 miles above the Arctic Circle, Barrow is the northernmost city in the U.S. February is generally the coldest month when temperatures drop below -30F.

The two vehicles chosen for the trip are Hummer H1s, which are built to operate in temperatures as low as -57F and equipped with Mattracks YS3 tracks. Mattracks was the first sponsor for the ZERO SOUTH project. The 408-mile expedition will cross frozen bays and inlets along the sea ice route, snowy roads and encountering wolves, caribou, foxes and polar bears along the sea ice.

The two all-terrain Mattracks YS3 equipped vehicles will reach speeds of 45 mph without using a drop of fossil fuel or petroleum products. The Hummers will pull, on a sled, a 1962 23 ft. Airstream trailer, weighing 10,000 lb. GVW, which was built to operate in -60F.

Every step of the journey will be documented as a televised series and a subsequent feature film with the message to reuse and repurpose the things around us and make them better instead of throwing them away. The ZERO SOUTH team will arrive with technology for the next 100 years with Mattracksbeing a part of.

Following the drive, the vehicles become science-support instruments to be used seasonally by science teams in new cold places with new science missions. Not even the talented team who built the vehicles truly knows whether or not they will make it. If they do they will be the first hybrids to reach the South Pole on the ZERO SOUTH EXPEDITION.

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