Moroccan citizens Youssef El Haouass, 55, and Salim Rhandi, 47, have successfully completed a remarkable 15,000km journey on a solar-powered quadricycle, arriving in Dubai just in time for COP28. Inspired by the renowned Arabian explorer Ibn Battuta, the duo embarked on a unique adventure, cycling through 12 countries, from Morocco, Spain, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Iran, before finally reaching Dubai. All that solely relying on solar energy and their own pedal power.
The expedition, which took 106 days to complete, covered diverse terrains across Europe and the Gulf region. Yousef, having participated in the Sun Trip in 2018, conceptualized the plan to cycle to Dubai, emphasizing the strong ties between Morocco and the UAE. In an interview with Khaleej Times, he explained, “I wanted to cover 11 countries, using only solar and muscle power.”
The journey aimed not only to showcase the viability of solar energy but also to raise awareness about environmental responsibility. The cyclists were sponsored by Veolia, a French company specializing in water, waste, and energy management, underlining the importance of corporate support for sustainable initiatives.
The solar-powered quadricycle, weighing over 300 kg (bike, luggage, riders), served as a unique blend between a car and a bike, offering a sustainable transportation solution. Yousef pointed out that managing power consumption was their primary challenge, with solar energy contributing nearly 90% of the required energy throughout the expedition.
The cyclists finished their journey at the Veolia Warsan Biogas-to-Energy Plant in Dubai in late November 2023. As COP28, the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, approached, Yousef expressed hope that their journey would contribute to the global dialogue on environmental protection and the promotion of renewable energy sources.
“We are hoping Cop28 will have a global impact, with a main message towards protecting our environment and highlighting the use of renewable energies,” said Yousef.
COP28 refers to the United Nations Climate Change Conference that took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November until 12 December 2023. UN Climate Change conferences (or COPs) take place every year. They are the world’s only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change, with almost complete membership from every country in the world.
To put it simply, the COP is where the world comes together to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, helping vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
More than 70,000 delegates attended COP28, including the member states (or Parties) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Business leaders, young people, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists, and various other experts and stakeholders are also among the participants. Officially, COP28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC.
Details about the solar-powered recumbent quad tandem are available for Premium Members under the photo gallery.