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World traveller arrives in Azerbaijan by electric car

6 April 2024 16:14 (UTC+04:00)
World traveller arrives in Azerbaijan by electric car
Ulviyya Shahin
Ulviyya Shahin
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The world traveller arrives in Azerbaijan after leaving behind sections of the route passing through Canada, the USA, China, and Kazakhstan, Azernews reports.

The "80 E-Days" project of the Spanish Rafael de Mestre serves as a global eco-promotional tour, reinvigorating the automotive world. This project began when de Mestre embarked on a true adventure with his electric car in 2012. Feeling akin to the protagonist of Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days," Rafael set two goals for himself: to demonstrate the practicality of electric cars and to dispel doubts about their everyday use. As a result, De Mestre travelled over 28,000 kilometres with his Tesla Roadster, proving that electric cars are ready for such long journeys and traversing various countries.

De Mestre's journey played a catalytic role in global initiatives promoting environmental care and technological innovations. In 2016, during the second part of the 80-day journey named "Elduro," Rafael led 10 teams. This time, De Mestre travelled with a different car, while the Roadster was gifted to a museum in Germany. Thus, the teams departing from Barcelona covered a total of 29,000 kilometres across 20 countries, demonstrating the feasibility of entirely ecological journeys.

A significant aspect of the "80 E-Days" project is the "Tree Route" initiative, where participants planted trees along the route to reduce air pollution caused by harmful gases. Each team aimed to plant trees throughout the route, leaving a green footprint behind them. This initiative became an integral part of the "80 E-Days" project and manifested its multifaceted mission of combating climate change and promoting ecological awareness.

Rafael de Mestre had intentions of regularly embarking on global travels, but events at a global scale brought about changes in plans. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the initial plans for the year 2020 and slightly postponed subsequent global projects. Finally, it was decided in 2023 that the project would continue with a renewed route in 2024. The idea of the promotional tour also stemmed from the need to revive the Tesla Roadster, which had a weakened battery after years in the museum. However, the plan to refurbish the Roadster required its transportation from Germany to the USA. As a result, the electric car was transported to the Tesla factory near Miami on the sailboat "Avontur," powered solely by wind energy. The desire for the journey to be free of carbon emissions underscores Rafael's commitment to ongoing ecological progress.

The purpose of Rafael de Mestre's travels to various countries is to establish mutual connections with local organisations, journalists, and electric car enthusiasts, exchange knowledge about ecological transportation, and promote the development of charging infrastructure. Having already left behind sections of his route in the USA, Canada, and China in March, Rafael finally reached Kazakhstan. Despite facing harsh weather conditions and challenges like floods, Rafael successfully completed his journey in Kazakhstan with the help of local eco-friends and electric car enthusiasts. The next stop is Azerbaijan.

It is known that in Azerbaijan, the year 2024 has been declared the "Year of Solidarity for a Green World," and our country is preparing to host the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29). In the context of these events, the arrival of the global electric car ambassador Rafael de Mestre carries symbolic significance for Azerbaijan.

At the press conference organized by the Azerbaijan Automobile Dealers Association, Rafael de Mestre will present his project and answer journalists' questions.

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