Wiebe Wakker landed in the UAE with his electric car in December after arriving from Iran following a 34,000km road trip through Europe and Asia.
From the UAE, his goal is to reach India, but with a lack of funds he was unable to continue his journey.
Wakker is part of the Plug Me In project, which sees him travelling from the Netherlands to Australia in an electric car. He doesn't carry money, so his trip is dependent upon the support he receives through his website, plugmeinproject.com. It's this way that people offer a meal, a place for him to sleep or energy for his car. Wiebe's route changes according to the invitations he receives. Plug Me In is Wakker’s graduation project. Through the kindness of people in the UAE, Wakker is finally able to continue on his way.
People from all over the country helped him by offering him a place to stay. The help came from expats but also from locals, including sheikhs in Ajman and Ras al Khaimah.
Wakker’s goal is to research how the world is progressing with sustainability. This led to an encounter with The Green Sheikh of Ajman, who talked with him about renewable energy in the UAE.
Sheikh Majed of Ras al Khaimah is also very active when it comes to the environment and has 300 waterboxes in his garden that help trees grow in the desert.
Help came in many forms and one company even offered the Dutchman a job.
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Wakker saw a lot of good potential on sustainable mobility in the country. “The recent launch of Tesla in Dubai and initiatives like the Green Auto Loan from Emirates NBD show that the transition to a low-carbon economy is being adopted.” Wakker said. “The UAE has proved to me that the country is making steps to being independent from fossil fuels, which is an inspiration for many more countries.”
After a three-month journey in the the Gulf, Wakker is off to the subcontinent, again being helped by companies who support his mission. His car will be shipped up to Mumbai by DGL Clearing & Forwarding, and Emirates NBD is sponsoring funds to clear his car upon arrival. For the first time this journey, Wakker will board a flight (provided by Etihad).
In the coming months, Wakker will cross India into Myanmar, and then begin a long road trip through Southeast Asia. He hopes to reach his final destination Australia by in the autumn.