Hankook Tire Completes First Leg of Cross-Country EV Tour in Volkswagen ID.4
- First-ever overland trip to northernmost point of the U.S. Highway System in Spring by an electric vehicle with multi-Guinness world record holder Rainer Zietlow
- Cross-country trip completed on Hankook iON evo AS and iON i*cept SUV tires with Challenge4 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD
Nashville, Tennessee, April 7, 2023 – Leading global tire maker Hankook Tire has successfully completed the first leg of a cross-country tour in the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 on Hankook iON AS evo and iON i*cept SUV. Guinness World Records holder Rainer Zietlow began the journey in Homer, Alaska’s southernmost road network point, on March 23, 2023. On April 4, Rainer and his team arrived in Deadhorse, Alaska, located at the end of the Dalton Highway on Alaska’s north coast. This marks the first time that an electric vehicle (EV) has reached the northernmost point of the US-Highway System by overland driving in Spring with temperatures around negative 23°C.
Zietlow, along with photographer Derek Collins, plans to travel in total 8,500 miles in the Challenge4 Volkswagen ID.4 equipped with Hankook’s EV-specific iON AS evo and iON i*cept SUV. For the second and final portion of the tour, the team will drive the 7,500 miles back to Key West, Florida, using only existing power sources, available charging infrastructure and without any additional vehicle support.
“Having tires that can go the distance and perform across challenging terrain and minus Fahrenheit temperatures is a must-have for such an undertaking, especially when a trip like this introduces interesting variables around EV battery range at cold temperatures and available charging stations,” said Rainer Zietlow, driver and founder of Challenge4. “This places an enormous responsibility on the vehicle’s tires to maximize the available battery range of the ID.4, and the Hankook iON tires have been essential in making sure we arrive at our next check-in point with confidence.”
Hankook Tire’s iON product line is developed using Hankook’s Evolution technology, which focuses on noise reduction, all-season performance and enhances rolling resistance to support the unique performance characteristics found in EV platforms. The key component is the iON tire’s unique compound formula, composed of high-concentration silica and eco-friendly materials, designed to evenly spread road pressure to extend tire life and enhance battery life. Compensating for the additional weight found in EVs, iON tire products are built with Hankook’s EV Contour technology to increase lateral rigidity and cornering stability along with 3D Kontrol sipes at the tire’s main treads to improve multi-seasonal performance.
“It’s exciting to be back on the road with Rainer and the Challenge4 team following our previous world-breaking drive in 2021,” said Rob Williams, President of Hankook Tire America Corp. “This latest journey is an excellent example of what our iON tires are capable of, along with our overall vision of supporting the growing EV industry with quality products that can go the distance.”
As part of its cross-country trip, the Challenge4 team will make various stops at Hankook Tire locations, including its U.S. tire manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee. The team is projected to reach its final destination and return to Key West, Florida, on May 6, 2023.
In 2021, Rainer Zietlow, along with the Challenge4 team, set the Guinness World Records title for the longest journey by electric vehicle (non-solar) in a single country. As part of the “Volkswagen ID.4: Great Roadshow through the U.S.,” the team completed its 35,000-mile tour across all 48 contiguous U.S. states with the ID.4 on Hankook’s EV tires.
The project can be followed with pictures, videos and a live tracker at www.vwid4-alaskatour.com.