Photo: Wiebe Wakker has driven his electric car from Holland to Darwin. (ABC News: Mitchell Woolnough)
After more than 800 days on the road, a man who set himself the ambitious task of travelling by electric car from Holland to Australia has arrived in Darwin.
Wiebe Wakker set out on the global trip from The Netherlands in 2016 with a dual purpose: see the world and dispel myths about the reliability of electric cars in the process.
“There are a lot of prejudices about electric cars, they think they’re not reliable or that you cannot go for long distances,” he said.
“If I can prove that I can drive from Holland to the other side of the world, then why should we not be able to take it to the shops or to the bottle-o?”
The car, dubbed ‘The Blue Bandit’, can drive 200 kilometres before it runs out of power.
Mr Wakker said the range was fine in other countries he had visited, including Russia, Iran, Borneo and Indonesia, because of the density of their populations.
But he said Australia’s vast outback presented a new challenge.
“Sometimes I need to do a small distance first, like go for 50 kilometres, charge the car there and then I can make the next 200 kilometres to the next town,” he said.
“I know there are some distances which are bigger than that but there’s nothing there so I know there are a lot of Tesla owners in this country so I hope I get maybe towed by someone.”
But how could someone fund being on the road for so long without ongoing work?
Mr Wakker’s journey has been entirely crowdfunded, with donors offering their homes and hospitality across the world.
“I expected it would be difficult, but in general I’ve found it quite easy, actually,” he said.
“I got a lot of offers from everywhere around the world, I have 1500 people who said ‘Yeah you can come here to charge your car or to eat with us’ from 45 different countries on almost every continent around the world.
“I was really overwhelmed by how enthusiastic people reacted to this idea.”
Photo: Wiebe Wakker charges the electric car he drove to Australia from Holland. (ABC News: Mitchell Woolnough)
Now he has made it to Australia, Mr Wakker said his final stop would be in Sydney, but it might not be the last time the Blue Bandit hits the road.
“If I really have enough energy somewhere in the back of my mind I think about going to the tip of South America, drive all the way to Alaska.”