Guinness World Records holder Rainer Zietlow 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 tires. Zietlow began the journey in Homer, Alaska’s southernmost road network point, on March 23. On April 4, Rainer and his team arrived in Deadhorse, Alaska, located at the end of the Dalton Highway on Alaska’s north coast. Hanook said Rainer’s journey 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 -10°F.
Zietlow and photographer Derek Collins plan to travel 8,500 miles on Hankook’s EV-specific iON AS evo and iON i*cept SUV as they embark on the second part and final portion of the tour back to Key West, Florida. During the 7,500-mile journey, they will use only existing power sources, available charging infrastructure and have no 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 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 company said. 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 on May 6, Hankook said.
The project can be followed with pictures, videos and a live tracker at www.vwid4-alaskatour.com.