“We shall draft a symbol of military defense for the front lines of environmental defense. By taking the first hybrids to the South Pole, we are highlighting technical solutions to our energy challenges in a vivid and dramatic way.”
- Nick Baggarly
ZERO SOUTH means ZERO fossil fuels to the SOUTH Pole. The expedition will be powered by batteries and biofuels. There is intentional irony in repurposing the Hummer H1, which many view as a contemporary symbol of gross consumer waste and inefficiency. Others view it as a remarkable multipurpose machine capable of extreme on- and off-road performance. But no matter which way the audience is “polarized” by the vehicle, this adventure will appeal to everyone. We will bring our audience with us on a modern-day, Polar adventure that relies on the latest hybrid-electric technology to power a team to the South Pole--and in doing so, we will spark a global desire to recycle, reuse, repurpose and rethink the world we live in.
Using the latest camera technology, we will document every step of this incredible journey as a televised series and subsequent feature film beginning at Sony Pictures Studios with the arrival of two, bone-stock civilian Hummers, all the way to the final moment when the team plugs in the vehicles at the ceremonial South Pole. The core content for the production will be produced in 4K-3D using the Sony F-55 camera, allowing for multiple distribution formats, including a 10-episode television series (in 3D, 4K or HD) and a feature film in both 3D and 4K.
ZERO SOUTH will inspire the same excitement of adventure and scientific discovery that humanity experienced during the heroic age of exploration in the early 1920’s, and convey this wonder to a new generation of explorers. The completion of the expedition will coincide with the 100-year anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton's most famous Endurance expedition. A century ago, the great South Pole explorers used technology that included skis and dogs and coats made of caribou fur. The ZERO SOUTH team aims to arrive with technology that will advance humanity for the next 100 years.
This project offers a dramatic example of what can be accomplished without the use of fossil fuels. Our pervasive message is to reuse and repurpose the things around us and make them better instead of throwing them away. ZERO SOUTH means ZERO fossil fuels to the SOUTH Pole—audiences will see two highly-advanced vehicles trek from edge of Antarctica to the Pole without the use of any petroleum products whatsoever. The vehicle is powered by batteries and biofuels. Our ETA at Pole is within the 100-year anniversary of Shackleton's Endurance expedition--an anniversary expected to receive media attention. The first explorer to reach the South Pole, Norwegian-born Roald Amundsen, used technology that included skis and dogs and coats made of caribou fur. The ZERO SOUTH team will arrive with technology for the next 100 years.
The project uses repurposed Hummer H1 vehicles selected for their wide track and modular, box-like construction which lends itself to both the Antarctic terrain and plug-in EV conversion. The choice of vehicle is ironic, however initial testing indicates a symbol of military defense used for environmental defense is popular with most audiences and resonates considerably with young audiences. People are 'polarized' about these vehicles. They either love them or hate them, however their use in extreme environments and as platforms to demonstrate new technology has precedent and is appealing to both groups. More ironic, the expedition includes scientists who will perform climate science out of the back of a Hummer. We see the vehicle as a 'charged' image--similar to Andy Warhol's use of the electric chair--it pulls a reaction and is difficult to ignore. This and the obvious utility, wide footprint and erector-set construction make it a suitable choice for EV conversion, audience appeal and the rigors of a 1200-mile-class traverse through an extreme landscape. The most likely failure scenario is an unmendable vehicle problem. Not even the talented team who built the vehicles truly knows whether or not they will make it. If they do they will be the first hybrids to reach the South Pole.
• Feature-length 3D documentary chronicling drive to Pole
• Televised series – HUMMER to HYBRID : Transforming the ZERO SOUTH Polar Traverse Vehicle
• Traveling education program – Post expedition the vehicles travel to museums and schools as artifacts highlighting multidisciplinary, NSF and NASA-funded polar science programs with a focus on sustainable technologies that reduce impact on our global environment.