Wiebe Wakker extends World’s longest electric car journey
Dutchman Wiebe Wakker extends World’s longest electric car journey to New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand, April 20 - A Dutch adventurer who has driven across the globe in his electric vehicle is set to begin the New Zealand leg of his three-year journey.
Wiebe Wakker has driven 100,000km in his EV, from Amsterdam to Sydney, crowd-sourcing EV charging, meals and accommodation through his website Plug Me In Project, along the way.
Although he completed his goal to reach Sydney in early April, he’s now exploring New Zealand in an electric vehicle. When he reached Sydney his journey was the longest ever in an electric car, having crossed 33 countries in 1,119 days without fueling up his car at a petrol station.
“I’ve always wanted to come to New Zealand, but in my original plan I didn’t think it would be possible. However, I received some great support to ship my vehicle over here from Sydney and I have the opportunity for a sort of encore to complete my global EV adventure which now really reached the other side of the world”.
Arriving in Auckland last Friday with his custom 2009 VW Golf EV, Mr Wakker starts a two-month journey across both the North and South Islands, ending in Bluff.
He’s been impressed by the enthusiasm for EVs in New Zealand, with over 13,700 EVs currently registered, and the growing charging network that he’ll make use of throughout his journey. While he is in New Zealand he’ll take the opportunity to test one of Tourism Holdings Limited’s (THL) Britz EV Campervans, making the North Island Coastal loop journey around Auckland, Coromandel and Raglan.
“It’s great to see a Tourism business like THL embracing EV’s. It makes complete sense that in such a clean and green country like New Zealand tourists can make environmentally friendly choices in the ways they travel.”
There are now fast chargers at least every 75 km on 90 per cent of New Zealand’s state highway network, and with three or four new stations typically arriving in more locations every month.
“For me this final leg of my journey is a time to have some fun and explore this beautiful country by EV. I’ve already experienced some great Kiwi hospitality including at my first stop, unveiling the new EV charging stations at DB Breweries in Otahuhu. I enjoyed a Heineken 0.0% beer over lunch before hitting the road again. It was great hearing about DB’s sustainability activity and sharing my story to hopefully provide some inspiration on their sustainability journey.”
Mr Wakker will travel back to Auckland in time for the EV World Event in August.
Wiebe Wakker’s journey in New Zealand has been made possible with the support of Proxima, THL, Ports of Auckland, DB Breweries, EECA, About Freight Worldwide and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.