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Wiebe Wakker talks accomplishing world tour in his electric car (Includes interview)

On accomplishing this world tour, Wakker said, “It felt euphoric when I crossed the finish line. In March of 2016, I set out with a goal to reach Sydney in an electric car and I had no idea how or when I would reach the city. That day I organized an electric parade, which had a symbolic meaning.”

Wakker continued, “I have always been traveling alone but powered by people and with a goal to show the possibilities of electric vehicles. Now I wanted to drive to the finish line, powered by passionate electric car drivers. I asked people to come with their EV to the Tesla Supercharger in the north of Sydney. I was hoping for 10, maybe 15 cars but then 50 showed up which was insane.”

On the impact of technology on the automotive industry, he said, “I feel like the automotive industry has been sleepwalking for many years. All Research and development (R&D) was focused on improving internal combustion engines. Tesla has changed all that, many manufacturers are now looking at UX and electric powertrains and now even big manufacturers have announced to stop producing ICE cars and massively shift to EVs which is great of course.”

Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine, Wakker responded, “When talking about my daily routine, I refer to the past three years of traveling. So technology has been extremely important to reach the other side of the world. With my trip, I have been depended on people who offer me a place to stay, a meal or plug to charge the car. My primary medium to find people to sign up is social media.”

“So my smartphone with many apps have been my most important tool during my trip. Without social media, I would have never been able to travel all the way to the other side of the world,” he added.

Wiebe Wakker driving from the Netherlands to the other side of the world
in an electric car.

Wiebe Wakker driving from the Netherlands to the other side of the world
in an electric car.
Wiebe Wakker

Wakker also used his laptop with various Adobe apps to help share his inspirational story. “I create videos and photos which I share on my social channels. Adobe’s intuitive apps have helped me a lot to create engaging content and share these instantly. Then, I had a camera and drone to capture footage. Ironically, my whole journey has depended on a few lithium-ion battery powered tools: my electric car, a laptop, camera, and a drone,” he explained.

“All these pieces of technology helped me to travel the world, engage an audience and share my story through various channels,” he acknowledged.

On the future of the electric car in the next five years, Wakker said, “The coming five years will be important to shift to mass adoption of electric cars. With more affordable cars entering the market EVs will become available to more people. It will hopefully be a wake-up moment for governments to give that final push for incentives (has to happen in Australia) or for governments to put a ban on ICE vehicles.”

Regarding his motivation to do this world tour, he said, “When I learned about electric cars, about five years ago, I was instantly very enthusiastic about this technology. I was never a car enthusiast but there was something about EVs that I found very appealing.”

Wakker elaborated, “Not only because they look really good and that they are very powerful and silent but they are also a way to tackle climate change. Unfortunately, I saw that people didn’t massively switch to driving electric yet as there was a lot of prejudice, people thought they are not reliable or you can’t cover long distances with them.”

“So I wanted to do my bit to promote this technology and show people it can be done. So I needed to do something which really speaks to the imagination and thought to drive an electric car from Amsterdam to literally the other side of the world to prove the viability of EVs,” he explained.

Wakker’s advice for people who are interested in getting their own electric cars is as follows: “Research how many kilometers (KMs) you actually need to drive on a daily or weekly basis. You will find that there are many more EVs available to your needs than you expected.”

For his fans and supporters from all around the globe, Wakker remarked, “A big massive thanks for not only helping me to reach the other side of the world but also for introducing me to your culture, teaching me valuable life lessons, helping me solve issues and for the good times.”

For more information on Wakker’s “Plug Me In” initiative, check out its official homepage and Facebook page.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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