Perth, Australia - A
Dutch man dubbing himself the ‘electric explorer’ has set a new long distance
record for electric cars by driving 70 000km on purely battery power.
But the most
interesting part is that Wiebe Wakker relied on good old ubuntu to keep him
going along his epic two-and-a-half-year journey from Amsterdam in The
Netherlands to Perth in Australia: he travels without money and relies on the
kindness of people around the world to keep him going.
‘Plug Me In’ asked people to contribute a meal, place to sleep or
electricity for his converted electric car through
crowdsourcing. The route of the journey was determined by these
offers via his plugmeinproject.com
website, which made Wakker zigzag around the world, crossing 33 countries
and driving those 70 000km without visiting a single fuel station.
Amsterdam on 15 March 2016, it took Wakker 827 days to reach Darwin in northern
Australia after a thrilling road trip through Europe, the Middle East, India
and Southeast Asia and earlier this week he reached Perth on the western coast
Australia’s shores already felt like a big accomplishment and now having
reached Perth I am very proud that I can also show everyone that it is possible
to reach one of the world’s most isolated cities in an electric car.”
This explorer’s goal
is to dispel the myth that electric vehicles cannot match their fossil
fuel-powered cousins when it comes to endurance. Wakker reports that Australia
has been the most generous country on his long journey, with over 350 people offering
him accommodation. The majority of them live in the bigger cities which made
coming down from remote Darwin a challenge, especially with his car, nicknamed
the ‘Blue Bandit’, having a range of just 200 km on one charge.
But Wakker received
help from roadhouses, Aboriginal communities and farms to get him to
Perth. Wakker's stay in Perth will be a comfortable one as over 40 people have
invited him to their homes.
Wakker’s 70 000km
distance on electric power is reportedly a new world record, surpassing the 22 000km
previously achieved, and this will be further extended once he reaches Sydney
on the other side of Australia.
“My goal is to
educate, inspire and accelerate the transition to a zero carbon future,” says
Wakker. With the Blue Bandit, he engages with companies and initiatives who are
active in the field of sustainability. Wakker wants to show what the
environmental challenges are in the various countries he crosses and what
innovative solutions are available. For more details of his journey visit
his website plugmeinproject.com.