The winter season in northern Alaska is long and especially tough on electric vehicles. Multi Guinness World Record holder Rainer Zietlow took on the challenge and became the first person to drive an all-electric car to the northernmost point of the U.S. Highway System in the spring. Driving a standard Volkswagen ID.4, Rainer Zietlow and photographer Derek Collins set off from Homer, Alaska, on March 28, 2023. Homer is the southernmost point of Alaska’s road network.
The team headed to Deadhorse, Alaska, located at the end of the Dalton Highway on Alaska’s north coast. During this time of year, temperatures along the route can drop as low as -29 degrees Celsius (-20 degrees Fahrenheit). The team arrived there on April 4, 2023. No electric vehicle has reached this point so early in the year. Rainer Zietlow covered the 8,500-mile route without a support vehicle. The ID.4’s battery has a capacity of 77 kWh (net) and was only charged from existing power sources. Since the charging infrastructure in Alaska is still under construction, charging took place not only at regular charging stations but also at state transportation facilities, recreational vehicle parks and common high-capacity outlets.
After Deadhorse, the CHALLENGE4 team set out for the southernmost point of the U.S. Highway System in Key West, Florida. After almost 10,000 miles, they reached their destination as planned on May 6, 2023 evening. The project has been documented with photos, videos and a live tracker, all of which can be viewed on this website. The pictures were taken by photographer and fellow rider Derek Collins, who has already embarked on the record-breaking tour across the USA in 2021. As with all his previous projects, Rainer Zietlow is supporting the charity SOS Children’s Villages and visited the Chicago, Illinois location during the tour.