Indian-Origin Engineer Travels 10,000km in Solar-Powered Auto
His passport and wallet were stolen and his battery packs died, but that didn’t stop him.
After covering almost 10,000km in seven months with his solar-powered autorickshaw, an Indian-born engineer recently arrived in Britain. Naveen Rabelli, 35, who is now an Australian citizen, had set off from India in February.
Rabelli said of his epic journey was fantastic until he got to Paris where his some of his belongings were stolen and two battery packs died.
Rabelli told The Gaurdian:
The highlights have been the way people have helped me out along the way and supported me. People love the autorickshaw, particularly in Iran and many other countries. They come forward and take selfies. And the moment I tell them it doesn’t require petrol, their minds are blown.
Rabelli, who works as an automobile engineer, hopes to end his journey at Buckingham Palace.
Rabelli embarked on the adventure to raise awareness about electric and solar-powered vehicles as a sustainable low-cost alternative mode of transport. He modified his autorickshaw to fit in a bed, a seat for a co-passenger, a cupboard with food donated by people and a solar-powered cooker.
He said the idea of converting a fuel-based vehicle to one powered by renewable energy came about when he and a friend were stuck in traffic in India surrounded by noisy, polluting autorickshaws.
He drove across India before his autorickshaw was shipped to Bandar Abbas in Iran.
His overland mission then began in earnest, as he drove through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France.
While posing for pictures beside his autorickshaw on reaching the UK, he said he had his vehicle properly checked by British border officials “because he had been travelling for seven months and had an emergency passport”.
He reached Dover town in England on Monday, five days later than expected, after his passport and wallet were stolen in France. He then obtained an emergency passport and crossed the Channel from Calais,
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