The car, a retrofitted station wagon named The Blue Bandit, has a range of 200km on a single charge. The original non-modified car would have used 6,785 litres of petrol to complete the journey. By contrast the Blue Bandit used 17 megawatt hours of electricity, which would have cost $3,750.
The vast majority of Wakker’s electricity was donated by supporters during his journey. Wakker spent only $300 on electricity, mostly in outback Australia. He had only one flat tyre and zero car accidents.
When he reached the Sydney Botanic Gardens today Wakker became the first person to drive to the other side world in an electric car. He was also the first person to cross Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia in an electric car. Wakker left Amsterdam on 15 March 2016, more than three years ago, without any money but with a goal to prove the viability of electric cars. He asked people to support him by offering a meal, a place to sleep, or electricity to charge his car. Thousands signed up on his website and these offers determined the route of the journey, which criss-crossed through 33 countries.
His journey took him from Holland to Australia via Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India and South-East Asia. He crossed oceans in container ships. In Australia he travelled from Darwin to Perth, across the Nullabor Plain, north to Alice Springs, east to Rockhampton, then to Newcastle, Broken Hill, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. Throughout his journey Wakker has met ministers, MPs, mayors, sheiks and government officials.
Wakker says his ‘Plug Me In’ project aims to prove the viability of electric cars. “Electric cars are a way to tackle climate change,”
'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.'
Wakker says he will always remember the kindness that strangers showed him during his journey. “Nearly 2,000 people from 45 countries offered to host me and during my journey and I received so much help. Locals helped repair the car when it broke down, people offered me a couch to sleep on, and many offered a plug to charge the car. I am very grateful for all the help I received and it changed me as a person.
“I am excited to finish in Sydney because it is as far away from Holland on as you can get on Earth.”
When he returns to Holland later this month Wakker wants to write a book about his journey and remain an ambassador for sustainable mobility.