An intrepid Danish couple who set out from Copenhagen in an electric car 113 days ago finally arrived in Shanghai yesterday afternoon, their first major destination in a round-the-world tour.
Their vehicle, a modified green Nissan, trundled slowly into the Denmark Pavilion at the World Expo site for a two-day exhibition, and immediately attracted the attention of visitors.
Having parked their car, Hjalte Tin, 56, and his wife Nina Rasmussen, 67, opened the front hood to show Expo visitors that the Nissan has an electric motor and doesn’t consume a drop of gasoline.
Travelers and writers Tin and Rasmussen left Denmark’s capital on June 25 and plan to drive their Nissan around the world to prove that electric cars can contribute towards a greener world.
“We do this to promote green mobility as the world needs to take the leap beyond oil,” said Tin, “We chose Shanghai as the first destination because we want to bring the idea to the Expo.”
During their 14,000-kilometer-long journey, the couple traveled across the Gobi Desert, which they described as the ultimate test to prove that electric cars are ready to enter people’s daily lives.
“This is probably the first electric car that has traveled across the Gobi Desert,” said Rasmussen. “The terrain was sandy, rocky and muddy and, most significantly, there was not a single electricity recharging spot.”
Rasmussen said they had to use a small generator to power their vehicle and spent a week crossing the desert.
Tin said that when they were traveling through cities in China, they could easily find power charging spots by asking locals for help.
“Chinese people already have a lot of experience in electric vehicles as I saw a lot of electric-powered scooters here,” said Tin, “In Europe, the issue is still mainly discussed on a theoretical level.”
The couple said they planned to ship their vehicle to the United States and drive across the US, before heading back to Europe.