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A team of 5 drives Electric Van from Geneva to Doha

According to organisers, a Swiss-led crew drove electric vans through Europe and the Arabian Peninsula to Qatar to demonstrate zero-emission battery-powered vehicles.

A Swiss-led team has driven electric vans across Europe and the Arabian Peninsula to Qatar to showcase zero-emission battery-powered vehicles, organizers said Sunday.

The five-strong Swiss and German team set out from Geneva on August 28 in two electric Volkswagen vans on a 6,500-kilometer (4,000-mile) journey that ended in Doha on Saturday.

“The motivation was really to do something unusual,” the group’s leader, Frank Rinderknecht, told AFP. “Certainly, we did have the risk of not arriving — technical issues, health issues, or an accident.”

Promoting Environmental Benefits:

He said the journey aimed to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles. “If our trip put just a little bit of rethinking, of initiative, into people’s minds, then I am not unhappy.”

The journey started with a crossing of the Swiss Alps and included what organizers believe was the first west-to-east crossing of Saudi Arabia with electric vehicles.

However, the trip highlighted shortcomings of the charging infrastructure, Rinderknecht said, comparing the mismatch of technologies to the “early days of telecommunication.”

The team used numerous apps in Europe to pay for charging points across different regions. They had to adapt their European systems to the Chinese hardware they found in Jordan.

Partnership with the Geneva International Motor Show:

The journey to Doha was completed in partnership with the Geneva International Motor Show, which is being held outside the Swiss city for the first time since its inception in 1905.

Upcoming Qatar Motor Show:

The 10-day motor show in Qatar from October 5 will feature 31 automotive brands and overlap with the October 8 Qatar Grand Prix at the Lusail International Circuit on Doha’s northern outskirts.

Saad Ali Al Kharji, deputy chairman of Qatar Tourism, said holding events like the motor show was part of the Gulf state’s “strategic vision of becoming the fastest-growing destination in the Middle East by 2030.”

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