A group of four Welsh football fans, who are attempting to reach Qatar in an electric car in time for Wales’ first game in the World Cup have hit a major bump in the road on their epic journey, where a hold up at the Saudi Arabian border could mean they miss Wales’ crucial first game.
Having already driven for 18 days across 17 countries and 3,800 miles in the car, nicknamed Morris, the group are currently stuck at the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia where Saudi laws prevent them from continuing their onward journey in a right-hand drive vehicle.
The group have been told their only option is to turn around and drive back to Israel and get a ferry around the middle east to Qatar – a two week journey which would mean they miss Wales’ opener against the USA on Monday 21st November.
The drivers had been well on track to arrive in Qatar this Friday (18th November) in time to meet the Wales team at their hotel, bringing with them video messages of support for the squad picked up from fans across the journey, but the border delay now puts all that in peril, as well as making the all-important game itself.
Frustrating
The four co drivers all from South Wales – Nick Smith, Scott Young, Huw Talfryn Walters and Walter Pennell, are travelling with support from Go Ev Cymru, a community interest company with a mission to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles across Wales. The MG4 electric car is being provided by FAW sponsors, Nathaniel Cars.
Speaking from Aqaba in Jordan where the group are currently stuck waiting, driver Nick Smith said: “We were expecting problems with charging points or even the car itself on a journey of this length and magnitude but the car has performed brilliantly and charging has not been a problem. To be stuck on a paperwork misunderstanding essentially is pretty frustrating. It would be devasting to turn around and drive back to Wales now and miss the World Cup when we’ve come this far.”
“We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had from back home as well as by the build-up and excitement ahead of Wales reaching their first World Cup in 64 years so we just want to keep that momentum going and get to Qatar now.”
Twitter: @EVtoQatar
Instagram electriccartoqatar
You can see the journey so far and upload your message of support for the team at www.electriccartoqatar.com
Car to Qatar itinerary
Day 1 – 28th October
Departure Point – The Vale Resort, Wales
Countries Passed – England
End Destination – Lille, France
Expected Travel Distance – 332 Miles
Day 2 – 29th October
Departure Point – Lille, France – 7.30am
Countries Passed – Belgium, Netherlands, Germany
End Destination – Luxembourg
Expected Travel Distance – 358 Miles
Day 3 – 30th October
Departure Point – Luxembourg – 7.30am
Countries Passed – France
End Destination – Geneva, Switzerland
Expected Travel Distance – 359 Miles
Day 4 – 31st October
Departure Point – Geneva – 7.30am
End Destination – Milan, Italy
Expected Travel Distance – 197 Miles
Day 5 – 1st November
Departure Point – Milan – 7.30am
End Destination – Bolzano, Italy
Expected Travel Distance – 201 Miles
Highlight – Stelvio mountain pass
Day 6 – 2nd November
Departure Point – Bolzano – 7.30am
End Destination – Graz, Austria
Expected Travel Distance – 266 Miles
Highlight – Passing the Dolomites, stopping at Landskron Castle and Wörthersee lake
Day 7 –3rd November
Departure Point – Graz – 7.30am
Countries Passed – Slovenia, Croatia
End Destination – Belgrade, Serbia
Expected Travel Distance – 358 Miles
Day 8 – 4th November
Departure Point – Belgrade – 7:30am
Countries Passed – North Macedonia
End Destination – Thessaloniki, Greece
Expected Travel Distance – 394 Miles
Day 9 – 5th November
Departure Point – Thessaloniki – 7.30am
End Destination – Athens Greece
Expected Travel Distance – 311 Miles
Day 10 – 6th November
Drop off Vehicles at Port – Evening
Taking in the sights and sounds of Athens in the MG4 before dropping off at port, along the way we will meet some residents who are benefiting from the City of Athens City’s Free EV Charging for a year initiative
Day 11 – 7th November
Vehicles Leave for Israel, Crew fly to Israel (Evening)
The car will start its four-day journey by sea to Israel, with some discussion on why the direct route to Qatar is impossible at this time. The team will spend the day exploring Athens by electric scooter and explore how electrification is having an impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of Athens’s residents. Flights to Tel Aviv, Israel.
Day 12 & 13– 8th & 9th November
In Israel waiting on Vehicles
Day 14 – 10th November
Departure Point – Hafia Port, Israel 12midday
End Destination – Jerusalem, Israel
Expected Travel Distance – 95 Miles
Day 15 – 11th November
Departure Point – Jerusalem 7.30am
End Destination – Amman, Jordan
Expected Travel Distance – 154 Miles
Day 16 – 12th November
Departure Point – Amman 7.30am
End Destination – Waddi Rum, Jordan
Expected Travel Distance – 212 Miles
Day 17 – 13th November
Departure Point – Waddi Rum 7.30am
End Destination – Hegra, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 319 Miles
Day 18 – 14th November
Departure Point – Hegra 7.30am
End Destination – Hail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 262 Miles
Day 19 – 15th November
Departure Point – Hail 7.30am
End Destination – Buraydah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 172 Miles
Day 20 – 16th November
Departure Point – Buraydah 7.30am
End Destination – Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 221 Miles
Highlight – Try to arrive from Burayadah in one charge, on arrival visit King Fahd Football Stadium
Day 21 – 17th November
Departure Point – Riyadh 7.30am
End Destination – Al Hofuf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 203 Miles
Day 22 – 18th November
Departure Point – Al Hofuf 7.30am
End Destination – Doha, Qatar
Expected Travel Distance – 162 Miles
Highlight – Meet up with the Welsh Squad at 2pm
Day 23 to 27 – 19th to 23rd November
Various Activities with Fan over this period, Watch Wales play their first match 21st November
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Should have taken out AA Relay and got towed across Saudi.
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