AT44 F150 Hybrid
Discover the AT44 Ford F150 Powerboost we used in March 2022 to be one of our vehicles to pioneer a route to the Arctic Ocean, driving up from Yellowknife to Cambridge Bay over remote tundra’s and see ice.
Selected to test the hybrid technology under extreme conditions and originally planned as the vehicle to complete 97% of the total TGCE travel distance, this vehicle was designed to travel both most of the Arctic, all the Antarctic plus all between. This plan was later abounded for two reasons; crossing from Canada to Greenland on ice was considered too risky and getting the vehicle out of Antarctica with the crossing team was an extra logistical challenge. This vehicle was designed to use the AT/Nokian 44-inch tires with zero lift for excellent stability and traction both on and off road but still accepting smaller tires for the continental crossing. It was sent to Iceland early 2021 for the AT44 conversion and was use in TGCE second expedition in March 2022, establishing a route between the “Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road” and the Arctic Sea ice.

It will travel from New York to Yellowknife and then be sent to Iceland together with the 4 Ford Explorers. Before the TGCE arrives from North Pole to Iceland via Greenland, Arctic Trucks is going to reduce the vehicle overall width by 23cm, installing 39-inch BFG tires together with narrower fender flairs to better fit narrower roads and parking as it continues through Europe, Africa, South America etc. Although more limited when it comes to snow, this vehicle is still a very capable when it comes to various off-road challenges and a strong support for the Ford Expedition vehicles if needed.

The role of this vehicle in the expedition continues to test the hybrid system, service the expedition with up to 7.2KW electric power in remote locations, carry spare parts and tools for the continental crossings, carry recovery kits including winch.
Fast facts:
  • Driveline: Ford PowerBoost 3.5L hybrid with 1.5 kw/h lithium-ion battery
  • Tire size: 475/70R17 (44” tall on 17”/15,7 rim)
  • Power: 430 hp and 570 lb-ft torque
  • Trim: Limited, includes full-reclining seats for sleeping
  • Modifications: extensive, including to a-pillar, lower door hinge, and headlight assembly to clear 44” tire with minimal lift
  • Onboard central tire-inflation system actively manages air pressure down to as low as 2PSI
  • At lowest tire pressures, can drive over a person’s arm with no damage
  • Tubular running boards convert into front-mounted crane to lift fuel drums and other heavy objects
    • 44 inch
    Arctic Trucks/Nokian
    • 17/16 inch
    Steel wheels with beat look
    • 1/4.88
    Lowered gear ratio
    • 120 l
    Aux fuel tank
TGCE partner Arctic Trucks began the development of the Arctic Trucks 44-inch conversion (AT44) based on Ford F150 in 2018 with the intention to ad this vehicle to its Antarctica operation. The vision of TGCE to support technological development to support advancing technologies it was decided to buy a Hybrid version of the F150 and send this to Iceland for building the AT44, fully capable Polar vehicle.
In March 2022, 3 AT44 F150, one hybrid and two diesel powered together with 4 Yemelya, navigated the land and ice and found a route connecting the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road and the sea ice in Bathurst Inlet.
The body of the Ford F150 is relatively large and made from high grade alloy giving more space without the weight penalty. Strong service together with a very good diesel engine option this was a very this was a very promising model to build a polar vehicle where JET fuel is often the only option the AT44 F150 was set to become Arctic Trucks new addition to the Antarctica a fleet of vehicles and the vehicle fleet to take the TGCE team across Antarctica. Having one Hybrid running on gasoline was a known logistical and technical challenge but at TGCE we decided to support this, helping to understand the challenges of using electric and batteries under these extreme conditions, to carry the flag of supporting technical progress.
In March 2021 TGCE bought a new Ford F150 Power boost in Canada and sent to Iceland for Arctic Trucks 44-inch conversion.
Photos above show the original vehicle at arrival in Iceland next to AT44 F150 which Arctic Trucks had already developed and built.
TGCE AT44 F150 Power boost Specification
2021 YM Platinum, a luxury setup with sunroof and more.
Engine & driveline:
Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid uses a twin-turbocharged and intercooler DOHC 24-valve 3.5-liter V-6 engine, lithium-ion battery pack, and a 47-hp electric motor. They combine to generate 430 hp and 570 Ib-and 570 lb / 773Nm of torque. This setup is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
AT44 conversions key features on the TGCE vehicle:
  • Body and frame rebuild to accommodate 44 inch tires with zero lift giving excellent balance and grip on and off-road
  • 44 inch tires co-develop with Nokian tyres in Finland, developed to run on snow with very low tire pressures, giving belt like performance with rubber compound for winter conditions
  • Hand built steel wheels with beat lock.
  • Central tire inflation system
  • Upgraded suspension and lower gear ratio.
  • Front hitch for winch
  • Power for winch front and rear
  • “Light” bar and aux lights
  • System to fit a crane and to push ground penetrating radar in front.
  • Expedition navigation and communication system.
  • Skid plates
  • Aux fuel tank and fuel filtering system
  • Aux engine heating system
  • Aux electric system
  • Canopy
  • Roof rack and rooftop tent (for Arctic only)
  • Star link replaces the roof top tent
In this configuration the vehicle can travel efficiently in most snow conditions, travel softly on deliciated ground with ground pressure down to 3psi but it can also travel silently on the highways with 30psi.

Dimensions (vehicle with Cabin)
From AT44 to AT39 after during the expedition
In during covid times in 2021 Ford Motor decided to cancel F150 Power stroke, the diesel version of F150, this affected TGCE plans as Arctic Trucks decided to switch their plans for a new Antarctica vehicle to build on the F350 power stroke, making a 6x6 vehicle. This made the logistics of using our AT44 F150 hybrid a bigger challenge, so we decided to make this vehicle as part of our Continental car fleet, having extra capabilities for potential challenges in regions such as Africa and more.

We are very much aware that the current setup of the AT44 F150 makes it wide, too wide for practical use in some of the countries we will drive through in our continental fleet, too wide for fitting inside a container for cross continental shipping and more. During our training expedition in September 2023, we drove our Hybrid on a 39-inch BFG tires. The vehicle performed excellent on these tires but even though the 39inch are big, they look very small under the vehicle build for 44 inches.
Our AT44 F150 Power Boost will start the expedition from New York on 44-inch tires, drive to Yellowknife with the expedition but will then return with the continental car fleet and be shipped to Iceland to be ready there when the TGCE expedition arrives in Reykjavik in May 2024. In Iceland it will be down converted by Arctic Trucks to use the 39-inch tires, becoming the first AT39 F150.
See also