Naveen Rabelli, 35, an Indian-origin engineer from Hyderabad crossed over 14,000 km in a solar-powered auto-rickshaw or ‘tuk-tuk’ to reach UK starting from India in order to create awareness about alternate power driven transport system. His target was to make the people of European and Asian countries aware about the use of renewable source of energy for their regular mobility purpose.
Rabelli set out from Bengaluru in February, 2016 and finally crossed the entire distance to reach Dover Ferry in UK on Monday, September 12, 2016, completing his over 14,000 km journey. Rabelli traversed 11 countries, 20 cities and 100 towns in Asia and Europe, in over 7 month’s period journey. His budget was as low as around $7 a day; he even slept inside his solar vehicle during his numerous halts in different countries. His self-modified tuk-tuk is fitted with a bed, a seat for a co-passenger, a cupboard with food donated by people and a solar-powered cooker.
Rabelli had bought the diesel powered auto at $1500 and spent $11,500 to remodel it for this adventurous journey which has been titled ‘Tejas.’ The refurbished Tuk-uk, originally a basic auto-rickshaw, was constructed as fuel-free, solar operated and fully electric. He has designed this solar-powered auto-rickshaw with the help of small fuel efficient companies in India.
He was, however, five days behind schedule owing to the fact that he was robbed while he was crossing France. He was taking a toilet break when the incident happened. However, he never backed away and with the help of the French Police made alternate arrangements which allowed him to complete his quest.
Rabelli stated that the sole purpose of his journey was to create awareness about the commercial use solar and electrical energy for passenger commute in Europe and Asia. This one of its kind journey certainly helped him grab attention across the globe.