In March 2016 Dutch electric explorer Wiebe Wakker left Amsterdam with his converted electric vehicle bound to reach the other side of the world. Wiebe’s project ‘Plug Me In’ is based on the collaboration between people in which everyone can a meal, place to sleep or electricity for his car through crowdsourcing.
The route of the journey is determined by these offers which made Wiebe zigzag around the world, crossing 33 countries and driving 70,000 kilometers without visiting a single fuel station.
Reaching the world’s most isolated city
It took Wiebe 827 days to reach Darwin after a thrilling road trip through Europe, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia and yesterday he reached Perth.
“Arriving on 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.” Wiebe’s goal is to dispel the myth that electric vehicles cannot match their fossil fuel-powered cousins when it comes to endurance.
Australia is the most generous country on Wiebe’s journey. Over 350 people offered him accommodation. The majority of them live in the bigger cities which made coming down from Darwin a challenge, especially with his car, nicknamed the Blue Bandit, having a range of 200 km on one charge. Wiebe received helped from roadhouses, Aboriginal communities and farms to get him to Perth. Wiebe’s stay in WA’s capital will be a comfortable one as over 40 people have invited him to their homes.
The route of Wiebe’s journey: 33 countries, 885 days, 70,000 kilometers, 0 fuel stations.
Wiebe was the first person to cross Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia in a fully electric vehicle. Never before has someone travelled through this many countries in a battery powered car. The current world-record ‘longest distance covered in an electric vehicle (non-solar)’ of 22,000 km has been far surpassed by him. Wiebe drove 70,000 km so far and many will be added once he has reached Sydney. After Perth, Wiebe will cross the Nullarbor to Port Augusta, Alice Springs, Townsville, Adelaide, Melbourne and eventually finish in Sydney.
Road trip with a goal
Wiebe’s goal is to educate, inspire and accelerate the transition to a zero carbon future. With the Blue Bandit, Wiebe engages with companies and initiatives who are active in the field of sustainability. Wiebe wants to show what the environmental challenges are in the various countries he crosses and what innovative solutions are available. Full reports can be seen on the website plugmeinproject.com.