Wiebe Wakker, a Dutch adventurer has created history by completing the world’s longest electric car journey on July 19. The Dutchman drove his Volkswagen electric car for a total of 100,450 kilometres from Amsterdam to New Zealand, crossing through 34 countries in an epic trip that took him 1,222 days.
As part of his ‘Plug Me In’ project, which aims to prove the viability of electric cars, Wakker left Amsterdam on March 15, 2016 without money and “relying on the kindness of people”. Through his website, he sought support from the public in the form of a meal, a place to sleep, or electricity to charge his car. Thousands signed up and he drew up the route, spanning 34 countries, based on where these offers of support came from. During his trip, Wakker also became the first person to cross Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia in an electric vehicle. When he reached Sydney he became the first to travel from one side of the earth to the other in an electric car.
Wakker’s original plan was to finish in Sydney, Australia, where he arrived on the 7th of April this year. However, when a few New Zealanders who were excitedly following his journey invited him to come to their country, he extended it. “I am excited to finally have reached Bluff today because after reaching Europe’s most northern point the North Cape, Bluff is New Zealand’s most southern point. Now I have crossed the globe from north to south in an electric car,” says Wiebe. “I have mixed feelings about finishing my journey today, it took me 3 years to get here so I am relieved and proud I made it, but my journey is now finished which is sad, it has been a big part of my life.”
Wakker started the final leg of his journey in Auckland on the 5th of June and has driven across the North and South Islands. During his trip he engaged with organisations, people and companies who are active in the field of sustainability.
“Electric cars are a way to tackle climate change,” he said. “I wanted to change people’s opinions and inspire people to start driving electric by showing the advantages of sustainable mobility. If one man can drive to the other side of the world in an electric car, then they should definitely be viable for daily use.”
“It has been an amazing adventure. People are congratulating me for showing the possibilities of electric vehicles but what I am most proud of is that I have created a platform to show the generosity of people around the world. Many people have helped me along the way and that is what I will always remember,” he added.