Naveen Rabelli, a 35-year Indian-origin engineer, has travelled 10,000 km using a solar-powered auto-rickshaw from India to London. The move was directed at creating awareness about alternative mobility solutions by employing renewable energy for passenger vehicles in Asian and European countries.
Naveen started his journey on the auto, known as ‘tuk-tuk’, from Bengaluru in February, 2016 and arrived at the Dover ferry crossing in Britain at the end of a seven-month, 6,200-mile overland adventure – despite a last-minute mishap. He reached five days later than expected in the UK as he became a victim of robbing during a toilet break last week as he reached the ferry crossing from France.
After obtaining an emergency passport and crossing the Channel from Calais, Rabelli said of his epic journey, “It was fantastic up until I got to Paris where from there I got some things stolen and two battery packs died”. Naveen added “My passport and wallet were stolen when I parked to go to the toilet at a fast food restaurant at Sarcelles, about 45 km west of Paris. I reported it to the police, where there were some language issues but after a few hours they found an officer who could speak English. They are very helpful and sorry when they heard that I was about to finish my trip”.
For his amazing ride, Naveen purchased the diesel-powered auto rickshaw for USD 1,500 and invested an additional USD 11,500 to transform it for the zero-emission adventure titled ‘Tejas’. Naveeen stated “The purpose of this journey is to create awareness of alternative mobility solutions for passenger vehicles in Asian and European countries using renewable energy – mix of solar and electricity”.
His self-modified ‘tuk-tuk’ is kitted it out with basic comforts including a bed, a seat for a co-passenger, a cupboard with food donated by people, and a solar-powered cooker. The amazing rider stated that the exclusive purpose of his journey is to generate awareness about the commercial application of solar and electrical energy for passengers commuting in Europe and Asia. This one of its kind journey certainly helped him grab attention across the globe.
Naveen already holds an Australian passport and was successful in acquiring an emergency travel document and finish his journey.
by Ashwani Srivastava