Solar-powered tuk tuk
Raoul Kopacka, a 26-year old Austrian, sits along with Naveen Rabelli from India inside a tuk-tuk in the southern Indian city of BangaloreReuters

An India-born Australian engineer rode a solar-powered tuk-tuk or auto rickshaw – as it is called in the subcontinent – reached the UK after covering 6,200 mile in seven months. Naveen Rabelli, 35, who started his journey in February from India, arrived in Dover on Monday (12 September).

He was delayed by five days in the last leg of his journey as his passport and wallet were stolen in France. However, he managed to get an emergency passport and now is hopeful of ending his voyage at Buckingham Palace.

Rabelli, who worked as an automotive engineer in Australia, embarked the adventure to raise awareness about vehicles that ran on renewable energy.

Describing his journey Rabelli said, "It was fantastic up until I got to Paris where from there I got some things stolen and two battery packs died.

"The highlights have been the way people have helped me out along the way and supported me. People love the tuk-tuk, particularly in Iran and many other countries. They come forward and take selfies. And the moment I tell them it doesn't require petrol, their minds are blown."

Rabelli converted the petrol-run vehicle to a solar powered one, which seems like a self-sufficient home. It has a bed, a seat for a co-passenger, a cupboard and a solar-powered cooker. The India-born engineer said that he got the idea of creating a solar-powered tuk-tuk after he and a friend got stuck in traffic a few years back.

Soon after modifying the tuk-tuk, Rabelli started his journey from the southern Indian city of Bangalore, before shipping the vehicle to Iran. He then drove through Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France before finally arriving in Britain.