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From The Netherlands to Australia in an Electric Car


A Dutchman proves that it is possible to travel the world in an electric vehicle. No more excuses.

When talking about electric vehicles there are a number of cliche phrases that always pop up. Some of my favorites include “The mileage on a single charge is not good enough for me”, “the battery technology is not good enough”, “electric vehicles are dirtier”. I am sure you guys have heard it all. The bottom line is, however, all these arguments are simply excuses. What is worse, they are even used by manufacturers of diesel and petrol vehicles to strengthen their marketing campaigns. Why so many people buy this, I have no clue.

In the mean time, thankfully, there are still some people, who would fight the cause and prove all deniers wrong. One such example is Wiebe Wakker. He is the first person to travel the whooping 95,000 kilometers (59,000 miles) stretch between the Netherlands and Australia with his EV.

Wakker was truly convinced from the start that electric vehicles are viable and can help in the battle against climate change. In a proper Dutch style, he decided not to engage in pointless discussions, and just go out and show the world what he means.

He modified his vehicle, a retrofitted station wagon, gave it a super cool name- “The Blue Bandit”, and took off on an epic journey.

The trip lasted just over three years. Wakker did not plan it all in advance, but rather he had the start- and end-points in mind. He set up a website, where people could donate and offer him support. He was not after money, but instead he needed electricity to charge the Bandit, food and a place to sleep. The route he established on-the-go, depending on the offers he received. He crossed over 30 countries, including Turkey, Iran, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, facing all struggles and hurdles that the different climates and cultures could bring.

Nevertheless, he made it. His vehicle could do around 200km on a single charge, and he spent just over $300 (talking about a cheap trip to Australia!). He estimated that if he was to travel the same distance with a regular station wagon, he would have used up at best 6,785 liters of petrol. With the current prices in the Netherlands, this would have come to about 4, 200 euros ($4,500) I guess the price would be lower as you travel eastwards, but in any case, it would never have been as cheap, and definitely not as clean.

Most importantly, he demonstrated that driving can be sustainable, and does not have to take up such a high spot on the charts of the “top leading sources of pollution”. If he could make it all the way to Australia, then there is no excuse that anyone can give for not driving an EV to work or in the city.

Image (c) Wakker

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