Wiebe Wakker from Haarlem, the
Netherlands who started on a mother of all road trips more than a year back,
finally reached Mumbai. Without money Wakker is trying to reach Australia in an
electric car. To reach his destination he relies on the kindness and help of
people who offer him energy through social media.
plugmeinproject.com offers people the opportunity to support him with a meal,
place to sleep or energy for the car. Based upon these offers also the route to
‘the land down under’ is decided. More than 750 offers from 41 different
countries made him ‘zigzag' his way though Europe and Asia.
He got stuck in the United
Arab Emirates for a while due to lack of funds but now after 376 days, 23
countries and 41.000 kilometres he arrived in Mumbai. “I am very happy to
finally have arrived in India after this long trip which hasn’t always been
easy” Wakker states, addin g that, “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 is trying to drive
mainly by land but as he couldn’t get a visa for Pakistan his only way was to
divert to the UAE and try to reach India from there. But with the help of local
companies he made it. Etihad sponsored him a flight ticket and a logistics company
provided the shipment of the car up to Mumbai which is set to arrive on March
30. With the arrival in Mumbai he even set a world record: 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 on the terms of sustainability. In every
country where he lands up, 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 adds.
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 organisations in the city who will provide
him with more knowledge. All the interviews eventually will lead up to a
While Wakker has been received
well in Mumbai he expects the journey through the subcontinent will be a tough
one. His car has a range of 200km and than it 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,” he says. Still Wakker
is hoping that the kindness of which Indians are well-known for will help him
reach his goal.
Links to Plug Me In: