Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Tuk tuk driver set to complete 10,000-mile journey in UK

Published 12/09/2016

An engineer is poised to reach Britain at the end of a 10,000-mile overland adventure in his self-modified solar and electric tuk tuk.

Naveen Rabelli, 35, will arrive at the Port of Dover in Kent from Calais on Monday with his tuk tuk, which runs on zero emissions.

Naveen Rabelli has driven through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France
Naveen Rabelli has driven through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France

His arrival in the UK was hit by a delay after he had his wallet and passport stolen last week when he parked up to use a toilet at a McDonald's en route to Calais.

But now he is set to catch a cross-Channel ferry to Britain, and Indian-born Mr Rabelli, who became an Australian citizen while working as an automotive engineer there, hopes to end his journey at Buckingham Palace.

He has basic comforts inside his vehicle, including a bed, a seat for a co-passenger, a cupboard with food donated by people, and a solar-powered cooker.

Travelling at around 62 miles a day, he set off on his adventure to raise awareness of electric and solar-powered vehicles as a sustainable low-cost alternative mode of transport.

The idea of converting a fuel-based tuk tuk to renewable energy came when he and a friend were stuck in traffic in India surrounded by noisy, polluting tuk tuks.

He travelled first from India before his tuk tuk was shipped to Bandar Abbas in Iran.

His overland mission then began in earnest, seeing him drive through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France.

Mr Rabelli has had to adjust to living on the road, including bathing in lakes, rivers and even at police stations, while relying largely on food handouts.

And, during one unforgettable leg of his trip, he found himself smoking horse dung in Iran after being told it was a good sore throat remedy.

Before his final leg, he said: "My family is very proud of it and have been continuously supporting from day one. My friends, too, have given me a lot of emotional support during the making of the project."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph