Think back to the year you first received your driver’s license. What did you do? Maybe driving to school or across town to a friend’s house was your idea of excitement. Maybe you even braved the highway, holding your breath on the onramp until you safely merged into traffic.
When multiple-time Guinness World Record holder Rainer Zietlow first received his license in 1988, one of his first missions was to conquer the Sahara Desert via a six-week trek.
“My friend told me about his father doing a tour through the Sahara and I said, ‘Hey, let me buy a car and I’ll join you,’ Zietlow said. “[There were] no signs, with nothing to support you. Some people got stuck in the sand, some even would drive by without getting enough water. That was really an adventure.”
It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for pushing the limits of what we believe can be accomplished in a vehicle, and has evolved into Zietlow crushing over a dozen world records. Today, he mainly focuses on beating records while driving electric vehicles.
“The interesting thing is that since 2020, you cannot ask anyone about combustion engine projects. They will only accept EV projects,” he says. “My last combustion engine project was in 2018.”
Zietlow is also the owner of Challenge4, a company based in Germany that specializes in planning and executing these record-breaking expeditions.
On this episode of The Amped EV Podcast, Zietlow delves into the challenges of long-distance electric vehicle driving, like range anxiety and the need for charging infrastructure. He also touches on the unique conditions he faced in Alaska, including extremely low temperatures and the importance of his tires when it comes to winter driving.