Our scientists' Christmas present in Antarctica

05/01/2022

Since the end of 2021, scientists at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth base have had the world's first zero-emission polar research vehicle. This new vehicle, named Venturi Antarctica, can carry equipment and up to six people.

The electric vehicle can operate in temperatures as low as -50° and has a range of 50 kilometres, which can be doubled thanks to a spare battery that can be carried on board.

 

This new vehicle is a real asset for the scientists at the Princess Elisabeth research station. We should recall that the polar regions, which are particularly fragile and vulnerable, must be the focus of all our attention. They are on the front line of the devastating effects of climate change. The use of a zero-emission vehicle capable of withstanding extreme conditions is a great advance for improving our knowledge without disturbing ecosystems.

 

Over the past twenty years, the tracked vehicle's designer, the Venturi Group, has specialised in the design and manufacture of high-performance electric vehicles, designed in particular for expeditions in hostile terrain. 

 

Our country relaunched its Antarctic research in the 1980s, under the auspices of the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO).  A specific Antarctic programme has been set up, managed by a special administrative unit responsible for selecting research projects on the basis of international expertise.