Volkswagen EV Soon to Complete Epic 33-Country Road Trip
Think your commute is brutal? You have nothing on Wiebe Wakker.
The Dutchman will soon complete a journey of more than 55,000 miles from his native Netherlands to Sydney, Australia, that’s required more than 1,000 days behind the wheel. But the real difference between Wakker’s commute and yours is just how much he enjoyed it.
That’s because Wakker completed his journey in a modified Volkswagen Mk V Golf Wagon, the sporty — and apparently very reliable — design from the fifth generation of the compact Golf.
According to Volkswagen, Wakker’s drive is the longest ever completed in an electric vehicle, and by a large margin. The previous record was 13,670 miles. Wakker covered more than 55,300. He is also the first person to visit 33 different countries in an electric vehicle, a journey that included putting rubber to the road in Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
But Wakker’s “Blue Bullet” (named for its baby blue exterior) wasn’t always an electric car. It began life with a standard gasoline engine. A Dutch utility company looking to do research on vehicle-to-grid technology replaced the traditional engine with an electric motor and battery.
Because there were no electric vehicles with such technology at the time, the company took 50 VW Golfs and converted them to electric vehicles. That research project dates back to 2009, making the Blue Bullet among the first modern electric vehicles.
With a battery range of 124 miles, Wakker estimates he recharged some 450 times along the way and relied on the kindness of strangers for meals and places to sleep. And the trip wasn’t all just spent hunched behind the wheel. Averaging around 55 miles per day in a car with 201 horsepower and a top speed of 111 MPH, Wakker enjoyed plenty of time for sightseeing and adventure, all of which is documented on the blog he set up for his trip.
Along the way, Wakker also spent time meeting with various companies, government organizations, and media outlets about the sustainability efforts being pursued in each country he visited.
A Volkswagen took Wiebe Wakker on an epic journey. See where one can take you by exploring VW cars for sale in Amarillo, Texas.