Electric Explorer African Challenge – the first EV expedition across Africa

Polish traveler Arkady Paweł Fiedler is piloting a Nissan LEAF across Africa in challenging conditions

Electric Explorer African Challenge - Photo 01

ROSSLYN, South Africa – The Electric Explorer African Challenge 2018, the first-ever electric vehicle expedition across Africa, has begun. Behind the wheel of a previous-generation Nissan LEAF is famous Polish traveler Arkady Paweł Fiedler, accompanied by photographer Albert Wójtowicz. The LEAF is not modified in any way – it is exactly the same as the car that was recently available in showrooms. (The new Nissan LEAF is on sale now across the world.)

“Traveling across Africa is probably the hardest test for any vehicle, not only an EV,” said Fiedler. “Poor roads, limited charging infrastructure and dramatically diverse weather conditions – from equatorial storms to the scorching heat of the Sahara – these are just a few challenges that we’ll have to face during the expedition. We’re optimistic. As part of the tests, I’ve already traveled over 4,000 kilometers in Poland in a Nissan LEAF, and I’m positively surprised by the driving range offered.”

The expedition started in Cape Town last week and will lead to Europe, along Western Africa, via South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania and Morocco, and finally across western Europe to Poland.

“The Nissan LEAF is the most popular electric vehicle in the world,” said Dorota Pajączkowska, Nissan PR manager Poland. “The first generation of the model was launched on the market as early as eight years ago, and Nissan EV drivers have already done more than three billion zero-emission kilometers in total. The design tested by hundreds of thousands of drivers can be trusted without hesitation, which I believe will be best proven by the Electric Explorer African Challenge 2018.”

Apart from being the first ever electric vehicle journey across the African continent, the expedition also aims to build awareness of electric mobility and new, cleaner technologies among the public in Africa, Poland and the world at large. It’s also important to show that the way of perceiving the world and human choices – such as the means of transport – have a great impact on our environment.

“Care of the environment, home, family starts with us – with our subjective decisions,” said Fiedler. “The journey is also to prove that often something apparently impossible to do can be achieved given appropriate attitude and determination. Owing to the huge challenge of looking for appropriate electric sockets to fill the battery with electricity, which is increasingly less of a problem in Europe year on year, we’ll have to rely on help from people we meet along the way. Without support from Africans, the expedition may fail.”

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In about week's time myself and @czosnek78 will be leaving Cape Town and drive the African LEAF north to find out whether it will be possible to cross Africa overland with an electric car. I expect Electric Explorer expedition will encounter unpredictable moments, with regards to recharging points en route which brings me to another point: if you may know of anyone who is willing to share the use of their (power) socket or recommend any reliable places with electricity please let me know in a private message (obviously I will pay for the electricity). The plan is to drive through South Africa, Namibia, Angola, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Mauretania, Morocco and possibly Ghana and Gambia as well. Please keep your fingers crossed for the African LEAF. ______________________________ #plugmein #pluggedin #africa #overland #roadtrip #nissanleaf #ev #electriccar #nissan #plugin #adventure #electricity #tourtheplanet #lifeofadventure #instatravel #ig_africa #travelstoke #neverstopexploring #lifeontheroad #overlanding #africanleaf #electricexplorer #evroadtrip #travelgram #wanderout #explorer #podróże #afryka #arkadyfiedler

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Expedition participants:

  • Arkady Paweł Fiedler – originator and organizer of the expedition, and driver of the expedition vehicle. Grandson of the outstanding writer and traveller Arkady Fiedler. Passionate for automotive expeditions, producer of travel films, photographer. Originator and organizer of the PoDrodze (On the Way) film-and-travel project. 2009 – Along the Polish Borders in Maluch, 2014 – Across Africa in Maluch (project nominated for the National Geographic TRAVELERS Award), 2016 – Across Asia in Maluch.
  • Albert Wójtowicz – architect by profession, photographer and cameraman by avocation, responsible for video and photo records of the expedition. Photographer of the film and travel project OnTheWay – Across Africa In Maluch 2014 and Across Asia in Maluch 2016.
  • Nissan LEAF – the world’s most popular electric vehicle, with more than 300,000 cars manufactured so far. The generation now widely available for sale, powered by a 30 kWh battery, offers a range of up to 250 kilometers (NEDC). September 2017 saw a new release of the model to be launched in Europe in the first half of 2018.

To follow Arkady’s journey, click on the following social media links:


Author: Prasanth Chunduri

I am an Independent Financial Advisor advising about mutual funds. Apart from my profession I am interested in cars and bikes.

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