One hundred years ago, a now iconic adventure pioneer broke the mould to redefine what was possible for explorers.
Between 1922 and 1927, Aloha Wanderwell became the first woman to drive around the world on a journey that took her through 43 countries. Partially sponsored by Ford Motor Company, she set the record in a Ford Model T – the car that put the world on wheels.
Now, as Ford accelerates in its mission to lead the electric vehicle revolution, the company has joined forces with travel adventure influencer Lexie Alford – known to millions online as Lexie Limitless – to continue Wanderwell’s legacy of redefining exploration with an ambitious round-the-world journey in the new all-electric Ford Explorer.
Beginning later this year, Lexie will lead an expedition around the globe, overcoming challenges, meeting people from many cultures, and visiting places of outstanding beauty, all supported by the zero-tailpipe emission Ford Explorer.
“We’re excited to see what our new all-electric Explorer and Lexie Alford can do together on this expedition – inspired by Aloha Wanderwell’s ground-breaking trip,” said Martin Sander, general manager, Ford Model e, Europe. “We were a part of Aloha’s journey all those years ago and have been helping people take on ambitious adventures ever since – we can’t wait to see how our electric future will keep that rebellious spirit going.”
Lexie broke the world record by becoming the youngest person to visit every country in the world by 21 years old. She now continues to explore the planet, showcasing the wonders of the world, while encouraging others to do the same. Lexie leads the way for a new breed of explorers with an uncompromising curiosity and driven by the same rebellious attitude as Wanderwell.
Just as Ford supported Wanderwell in the 1920s, the automaker is collaborating with Lexie Alford on this 21st century journey to celebrate the modern-day explorer with a passion for sustainable travel, and also to showcase what is truly possible in an electric vehicle.
“Aloha Wanderwell’s story is particularly inspiring for female travellers, but it truly encourages everyone to push their limits and explore new places,” said Lexie Alford. “I am excited to follow in the tyre tracks of this legendary trailblazer, while showing what the electric future of overland travel can look like. There’s going to be many obstacles and challenges, but that’s part of the fun of travel and I’m going to be documenting it all online!”
Making its global debut today, the futuristic new Explorer combines German engineering with striking American style, and is bristling with smart technology and clever ideas to help drivers and passengers stay connected and comfortable on their own adventures. Features includes a supersized movable touchscreen that can also conceal a secret locker; cavernous storage up front; and cutting-edge connectivity that wirelessly connects with smartphones. All this comes together with electric powertrains that can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 25 minutes. 1
Following in Aloha’s footsteps
Aloha Wanderwell was an explorer, a filmmaker, a wife, and a mother. She began her journey around the world at age sixteen, and visited places that no western man or woman had ever seen before.
Wanderwell’s daring voyage began in Nice, France, and she would eventually sail homeward from Kilindini Harbour, Mombasa. Throughout the journey she had to adapt to challenging circumstances; kerosene replaced gasoline, and crushed bananas were used as grease for moving vehicle parts.
You can follow Lexie’s adventures from later this year at https://twitter.com/FordNewsEurope, https://www.instagram.com/fordnewseurope/ and https://www.youtube.com/fordnewseurope, as well as at Lexie’s Instagram and YouTube.
1 Charge time based on manufacturer computer engineering simulations. The charging rate decreases as battery reaches full capacity. Your results may vary based on peak charging times and battery state of charge.
Officially homologated driving range will be published closer to on-sale date.