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Dutchman finishes epic electric-car journey

Louisa Wright with AFP
April 7, 2019

A Dutchman has driven across 33 countries in just over three years in his electric car "The Blue Bandit," concluding his trip in Sydney. Wiebe Wakker said he did the journey to change opinions on electric cars.

Wiebe Wakker in his "Blue Bandit"
Image: Getty Images/AFP/P. Parks

Dutchman Wiebe Wakker on Sunday ended a 95,000 kilometer (59,000 mile) electric car journey that he hoped would show the world the viability of such vehicles.

Wakker arrived in the eastern Australian city of Sydney after driving his retrofitted station wagon nicknamed "The Blue Bandit" across 33 countries including Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia, with the route determined by the offers he received on his website.

Read more: Tomorrow's transportation will be electric and shared

The trip started in the Netherlands and took just over three years. It was funded by public donations from around the globe, including electricity to charge the "Bandit," food and accommodation.

"I wanted to change people's opinions and inspire people to start driving electric by showing the advantages of sustainable mobility," Wakker said.

"If one man can drive to the other side of the world in an electric car, then EVs (electric vehicles) should definitely be viable for daily use," he added.

6,785 liters of gas saved

Wakker said that before the car was modified, it would have used 6,785 litres (1,800 US gallons) of gas to make the journey.

The modified vehicle can travel 200 kilometers on a single charge, with Wakker saying he spent just $300 (€270) on electricity, much of it in the remote desert outback of Australia.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle running on gas or diesel fuel emits 4.6 metric tons (5 US tons) of carbon dioxide per year.

Read more: Racing towards the unknown, but in an electric car

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