Locally-built ‘Rockhopper’ hybrid truck to be used in Antarctic expedition
A team of four people will use a locally-built hybrid vehicle on an Antarctic expedition later this year.
The Rockhopper, a modified International MXT, was invented by Edmontonian Darryl Weflen. In November, he and three others will use it to get to the South Pole.
“It’s not an easy place to get to, it’s not on the top travel lists by any means,” Weflen said.
The vehicle has been outfitted with technology invented in Edmonton, the G-Force Hybrid Drive System, which turns the 6 cylinder diesel engine into a hybrid vehicle.
The machine will travel in a sea container ship from Vancouver to Chile, where it will be loaded onto a Russian cargo jet and brought to Union Glacier in Antarctica.
The team’s mission, dubbed Xpedition 90X, is to reach the South Pole using as little fuel as possible.
“I think it’ll help raise awareness that just because the vehicle is large doesn’t mean it’s necessarily getting terrible mileage,” Weflen said. “It doesn’t have to.”
The self-funded, $1.25 million expedition is expected to last between 20 and 30 days, depending on conditions.
With files from Dan Grummett