Hankook Completes First Leg of Cross-Country EV Tour

Hankook Tire has successfully completed the first leg of a cross-country tour in an all-electric Volkswagen ID.4 on Hankook tires, the company announced.

Guinness World Records holder Rainer 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. This marks the first time that an electric vehicle (EV) has reached the northernmost point of the US-Highway System by overland driving, the company said.

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 line tires. 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, the team said.

“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.”

“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, 2023.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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