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Lotus Concept Ice Vehicle for Antarctic Expedition

by Simon. Average Reading Time: almost 2 minutes.

Lotus have developed a Concept Ice Vehicle (CIV) — a cross between a skidoo and a microlight — to aid research for the Moon Regan Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

The Moon-Regan expedition team will cross the great continent using state-of-the-art bio-fuelled vehicle technology and cutting-edge communications equipment to raise awareness of how Antarctica’s fate affects the whole environment.

With education as its focus, the Moon-Regan team hope to bring global environmental issues into homes, boardrooms and classrooms around the world. The explorers will carry out a series of scientific experiments to highlight the environmental issues; live web feeds will chart their daily challenges and achievements, and an educational film will be made of the expedition.

The biofuel powered, propeller-driven trike on skids is 4.5 meters long and 4.5 meters wide with an independent suspension all around. It also has an ice penetrating radar to detect crevasses and is light enough for a man to pull it across difficult terrain, which basically makes it an Elise for explorers. It also appears to have a spiked “foot” under the cockpit, perhaps for stopping on icy terrain.

(Click on the images to see a larger view)

Lotus Conept Ice VehicleLotus Conept Ice VehicleLotus Conept Ice VehicleLotus Conept Ice VehicleLotus Conept Ice Vehicle

Bio Fuel

The expedition will be using biofuel to see if it can be a genuine alternative to fossil fuels – even in the extreme environment of the Antarctic.

Biofuels can be made from vegetable oil, animal fat or fish oils. They produce no carbon dioxide and burn more cleanly and efficiently than fossil fuels. The main issue now is to find ways to produce biofuels in a sustainable manner – there’s no point destroying forests in order to grow biofuel crops. Recycling and using by-products from local food manufacturers are just two ways in which biofuels can be environmentally friendly. Research and technology needs to focus on finding other sustainable ways to produce biofuels.

Specifications

  • Suspension: all-round independent suspension to cope with the sastrugi
  • Engine: Supercharged BMW 1150 engine adapted to run on E85 bio-ethenol
  • Size: 4.5m long x 4.5m wide
  • Weight: 360kg
  • Radar: Ice Penetrating Radar (IPR) unit detects hidden crevasses
  • Top Speed: 84mph

More Info

More information can be found on the expedition website, including information on the other vehicles to be used.

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