More than a year ago, Wiebe Wakker began with the mother of all road trips. Hailing from Haarlem, Netherlands, the man’s mission was to reach Australia in an electric car without making use of money. So in order to reach his destination, he relies on kindness and some help of people who offer him energy through social media.
Wakker’s website plugmeinproject.com offers people the opportunity to support him with a meal, a place to sleep or energy for the car. And the route to ‘the land down under’ is decided based on all the offers that he receives. Till date, he’s received more than 750 offers from 41 different countries and he’s travelled his way through Europe and Asia, got stuck in the United Arab Emirates due to lack of funds, and now after 376 days, 23 countries and 41.000 kilometers he’s finally arrived in Mumbai.
Waker stated how he is “very happy to finally have arrived in India after this long trip which hasn’t always been easy. For some time it was uncertain if I could make it here as I didn’t have the funds to pay for the shipment to Mumbai.”
Wiebe, who couldn’t get a visa for Pakistan, chose to divert to the UAE and reach India with the help of local companies. While Etihad sponsored him a flight ticket, a logistics company provided the shipment of the car up to Mumbai which is set to arrive soon. And now that he’s in Mumbai, he’s set a world record of becoming the first person ever to cross the Middle East by electric vehicle.
The goal of Wakker’s road trip is to see how the world is progressing in terms of sustainability. He visits organizations, initiatives and people who are active on this subject and interviews them about environmental issues. “So far I have gained a lot of new insights about what is going on in the field of sustainability and it’s very interesting to see the differences, mainly between Europe and Asia,” Wakker states. Mumbai is often referred to as the least sustainable city in the world and Wakker is keen to learn more about this. He is already in touch with organizations in the city who will provide him with more knowledge. And all these interviews eventually will lead up to a documentary.
While Wakker has been received well in Mumbai, he expects that the journey through the subcontinent will be a tough one. His car has a range of 200 km which needs to be charged for 12 hours. “I have some people in Mumbai and New Delhi who offered me a place to stay and recharge, but the difficulty is between the 2 cities and New Delhi and Myanmar. Distances are long and no one there has heard about me.” Wakker is still hoping that the kindness, which Indians are well-known for, will help him reach his goal.
We wish him all the best for his journey.