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Message for us all

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019

Dutch man Wiebe Wakker stopped in Broken Hill with his light blue electric car. He has been travelling all over Australia to send an important message. PICTURE: Emily McInerney Dutch man Wiebe Wakker stopped in Broken Hill with his light blue electric car. He has been travelling all over Australia to send an important message. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

After travelling in an electric car for 1000 days and relying on the kindness of others, Wiebe Wakker isn’t homesick but is loving all the adventures.

Wiebe Wakker first set out from the Netherlands in 2016 and has visited over 33 countries.

He has been driving around in an electric car and is using it to send a message of living a sustainable life.

“I wanted to travel around the world and do a road trip for fun,” he told the BDT yesterday.

“I wanted to promote the damage that polluting is doing and talk about electric cars.”

Mr Wakker said he has shown that electric cars are reliable and can travel long distances.

“I wanted to show I could travel from Holland to the other side of the world using an electric car every day.”

Mr Wakker has also been relying completely on the kindness of the people he meets on his journey to help “plug in” or with food and accommodation.

His campaign is called ‘Plug Me In’ and he has successfully managed to make it around the world.

All these offers have been made to Mr Wakker via the ‘Plug Me In’ website, through his Twitter page and other social media outlets and it has been random acts of kindness that have plotted a route for his journey.

Mr Wakker is now very close to the end of his journey, which will conclude once he reaches Sydney.

He was in the city yesterday after arriving over the weekend and spent some time visiting the sites.

“I went to Silverton and Daydream Mine, where they offered me a tour.

“I want to see a bit more of Broken Hill.”

He was in Wilcannia last week, after driving across the Nullarbor.

“I’m staying with a guy who is a friend to the owner of the Wilcannia Motel which is where I stayed last week.”

Mr Wakker said it is simple to charge an electric car.

“Basically you can charge the car up like a smart phone.

“The most challenging thing has been the distance. You have to plan more carefully as there aren’t as many places to charge up.

“Cobar to Wilcannia was a long stretch and after about 200km I couldn’t go any further.

“I found Emmdale Roadhouse and asked for a charge there.

“But it was 48 degrees that day and the battery overheated.

“The Roadhouse offered me a meal and asked me where I was sleeping.

“I told them I was going to sleep outside in my tent. They offered me a cabin - which was really nice.”

Mr Wakker said he has had to be towed after the battery went flat 25km before Coober Pedy.

“Newer electric cars can last distances of 400 - 500 km and more charging stations are available now.”

He said he does get a lot of interest from people when they see his bright blue car.

But the temperatures out here were a lot to experience.

“I’m heading towards Adelaide, I don’t have any offers yet but maybe if people here about my trip they might offer me a charge,” Mr Wakker said.

“I’m not really homesick, it’s been really amazing.

“I’m a little bit sad that the finish line is getting closer and closer.”

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