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Record breaker is switched on

Monday, 5th December, 2011

SOLAR TRAVELLER: Glen George arrived in the city last week as part of his electric car journey around the nation. SOLAR TRAVELLER: Glen George arrived in the city last week as part of his electric car journey around the nation.

 By Kurtis Eichler

Jules Verne wrote about travelling the world in 80 days. Now retired solar panel installer, Glen George, is trying to circumnavigate Australia in 90 days.

Donning a pair of driving goggles, Mr George, 67, charged up his 1956 MG and started on August 21 from Badgingarra and arrived in Perth on November 13.

From Perth he’s heading to the Queensland city of Mackay where his four-month trip will come to an end.

Late last week he arrived in the city and visited the various attractions before heading off on his trek.

He said it was not a lifelong dream but an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest journey by an electric vehicle.

When Mr George returns home to Mackay he’ll have clocked-up more than 17,000 kilometres.

The record stands at 500 kilometres, so he says he has already unofficially beaten that.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to since I retired,” Mr George said.

Plugging his car into power points for nine hours helps get the Welshman through a single day of driving.

“I can only go 200km a day then I’ve got to charge it up again.”

The idea came from his 30-year career in the solar industry and his interest in reducing Co2 emissions.

Mr George has stood for both State and Federal politics under the Greens banner twice, and said the country should do more to adopt renewable energy.

“When I was in Adelaide, the Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood has an electric car and I took him for a ride in mine and I went for a ride in his.

“One thing most of us agree on is that increasing Co2 in our atmosphere will bring devastating consequences for life on Earth.”

Mr George said that he had spent just $300 on the journey so far to keep his car running and that it performed better with an electric engine than it had as a petrol car.

It is the first time an electric car has been used to circumnavigate Australia.

“I don’t think this record will be broken for a while,” Mr George said.

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