Criss-crossing the world in an electric car without any money; his route determined by anyone willing to provide food, shelter and, importantly, a chance to recharge his electric car. Far-fetched as this idea may seem, that is what the 31-year-old adventurous Dutchman Wiebe Wakker is doing.
On March 15, 2016, Wakker set out from Amsterdam, bound for Sydney, on what he calls “a unique global mission to promote sustainability in daily life and showcase electric mobility.”
It took Wakker 827 days to reach Darwin (in June 2018)—the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia—after a road trip through Europe, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. From Darwin, Wakker’s route let via Perth, across the Nullarbor (one of the largest deserts in the world) to Uluru (Ayers Rock), and this week to Brisbane, after driving for 991 days.
Wakker’s project is called ‘Plug Me In’, and he says his aim is to inspire, educate and accelerate the transition towards a zero-carbon future. “I crossed 33 countries on my way, reached the other side of the world, driving 84,000-km without visiting a single petrol station on the way.”
With this trip, Wakker claims he has become the first person to cross Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia in a fully electric, battery-powered vehicle, surpassing the current Guinness World Record of the ‘longest distance covered in an electric vehicle (non-solar)’ of 22,000-km. His trip hasn’t ended, yet; his final destination is Sydney where he aims to reach by January 2019.
Over his road trip, Wakker has also been engaging with companies that are active in the field of sustainability, and wants to show what the environmental challenges are in the various countries he has crossed and what innovative solutions are available.