Welcome and Keynote: How to Travel to the Other Side of the Planet on an Empty Pocket

Wiebe Wakker, Plug Me In


On the 15th of March 2016 Dutchman Wiebe Wakker (December 1986) left Amsterdam with his fully-electric “Blue Bandit’, a converted Volkswagen Golf Wagon. Without money in his pocket it promises to be a huge challenge to reach Sydney. Wakker chose to finish on the other side of the world to prove the viability of sustainable mobility.
Wiebe asked the help of the crowd to make it to his destination, on his website plugmeinproject.com people could select their location and offer him to sleep on their couch, share a meal or charge up his electric vehicle.

Thousands of strangers signed up and these offers determined the route of Wiebe’s journey. He drives from Amsterdam to Italy and back to the North Cape. Via the eastern parts of Europe he reached Asia through Turkey and after that, he crossed the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. With every kilometre driven, his message gains more power: the non-flying Dutchman is the living proof that sustainable mobility is possible.

As expected an adventure of this kind doesn’t go without any struggles. In India the charger of his car explodes and Wiebe is up for a challenge as he can’t continue driving.

Everywhere Wiebe comes, he received help from his followers and helpful locals. In Dubai sheiks took care of him. In Malaysia he meets a famous prince and in Indonesia he becomes a true celebrity, he even appears in the tabloids.

Eventually Wiebe reaches Sydney after 1,119 days, 95,000 kilometres and 33 countries, that’s without filling up at a gas station! With this achievement he becomes the first person to cross several countries in a battery powered car. Wiebe is the first person to drive from one side of the world to the other. All his experiences are still fresh in his memory and Wiebe knows to entertain and inspire audiences who book him for a lecture.

In his presentation Wiebe shares what has driven him to start this adventure. His message about sustainable mobility is a powerful one, definitely because the sympathetic traveler knows what he is talking about. Even with many challenges he managed to make it to the other side of the world with his electric car and inspire millions of people.

And inspire, that is also what Wiebe does in his talks about his adventure. Wiebe shares how he managed to continue every time, even without money and looks back on challenges that would have driven most people nuts. But above all Wiebe inspires his audience to pursue their own dreams.


Wiebe Wakker is a sustainable adventurer known from his journey in an electric car from the Netherlands to New Zealand. With his project ‘Plug Me In’ Wiebe wanted to educate, inspire and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

His journey crossed 34 countries in 1.222 days and was completely powered by strangers who offered him energy to bring him and his Blue Bandit to the other side of the world.