Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: August 29, 2023
By Ailén Pedrotti
Spain flag

“It’s not fun if it’s easy”: Traveling 12 thousand kilometers in an almost electric ’90 Ford Fiesta

The world of travel has a new electrified chapter thanks to Mobility Portal Spain. This time, the protagonists are Moises Barea, his colleague from Wallbox Carlos Coscujuela, and a 1990 Fiat Fiesta converted into a "hybrid" that traveled over 12.000 kilometers in the middle of summer and without air conditioning. Here's the story in first person.
ford fiesta

The executives embarked on the “almost electrified” journey from Barcelona to Mongolia in a 1990 Ford Fiesta that they hybridized themselves.

In a conversation with Mobility Portal Spain, Moises Barea, VP of Sales at Wallbox, shares the details of this “daring and meaningful journey.”

The idea of participating in the “Poles of Inconvenience” race began to take shape in the mind of Carlos Coscujuela, Business Operations Director of the company, about two years ago.

The executive of the Spanish recharge point manufacturer shared with his colleague the story and initial planning of the route that today fills them with pride and anecdotes to tell.

According to Barea’s account, the first step was to purchase the car, gather information, and get to work:

“We took the Ford Fiesta and transformed it into a hybrid, equipping it with the tools, spare parts, and equipment necessary to face the tough travel conditions.”

The car could be recharged using an AC Type 2 connector at up to 22 kW.

Not only that, but it also had a photovoltaic panel that could be removed and positioned according to the travelers‘ needs.

The “Poles of Inconvenience” Rally

The route planned by Moises and Carlos aimed to cover a total of 12 thousand kilometers in 19 days, with an average of 670 kilometers per day.

They set off on July 13th, and from day one, they faced both familiar and unfamiliar terrains as they made their way to their final destination in Mongolia.

All of this was happening within the framework of the “Poles of Inconvenience.”

It wasn’t just a race; it was also a fundraising event for social projects.

With the funds raised, they would purchase milk and oil for the basic needs coverage project for families in Cerdanyola, Ripollet, and Montcada.

Solidarity was one window into the journey, while another was the personal adventure posed by the rally’s rules and the conditions of the Ford Fiesta.

The organizers requested, as a first step, to have a “small and shit” car.

“You can take any car, as long as it’s crap and has a 1.2-liter engine or less. Ideally, less than 1 liter,” stipulated the event’s website.

They also defined that the route would be free, and destinations could be organized as desired: “Go backward if you want. Or completely in the wrong direction, which always ends up being funny. Or crying. One of the two.”

One of the project’s emblems was: “It’s not fun if it’s easy.”

Electrified Challenges

Charging infrastructure was a constant challenge along the way.

Leaving Spain, they passed through countries like France, Switzerland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, encountering different levels of development in terms of charging points.

In France, for example, they were surprised to see “powerful stations at all gas stations on the highways, with 10 to 15 chargers at each.”

But as they moved further down the map, the reality transformed.

Untended points, investments of over eight years, and even points installed in the middle of a border without much reason were some of the cases they encountered along the way.

But the challenges weren’t limited to terrain, infrastructure, or the Ford Fiesta.

In Turkey, they faced chaotic traffic, and in Istanbul, they dealt with adapting to new driving rules.

Cars with right-hand and left-hand steering wheels were abundant, but all were subject to local regulations, which were quite different from European ones.

“In Armenia, we saw a brand new Volkswagen iD3, and I couldn’t understand how a country where all the other vehicles are so old suddenly has one of those,” recalls Moises Barea in his account.

The Ford Fiesta Accumulated Kilometers and Stories

Moises and Carlos’s adventure in the electrified 1990 Ford Fiesta was filled with countless experiences.

Across borders and cultural challenges, they managed to demonstrate that passion for sustainable mobility and solidarity can drive people to achieve seemingly unattainable goals.

“One night we had very little cash left and needed to find lodging. Speaking different languages, we had an incredible exchange with a man at a campsite,” Barea recounts to this medium.

To sleep there, they had to exchange supplies (wine and some food items) for accommodation.

And it all ended not just with finding a place but with a true dinner featuring a great cultural exchange, drinks, and a lot of laughter among travelers.

Furthermore, another characteristic of the journey was that the protagonists were somewhat different.

“Carlos is more of a planner, and I’m more about taking the route directly,” Barea says with a laugh.

And he adds, “We’ve spent three days sleeping in tents, one day in a hotel, all while traveling in the middle of summer in a car without air conditioning.”

They’ve been able to bathe in all the rivers they’ve come across, have taken all sorts of routes, and even had the luxury of adding sports experiences to the itinerary:

“We go for a run when we sleep in hotels, and when we spend many hours in the car, we exercise with some tools we added to our luggage.”

In the end, the journey aboard the Ford Fiesta has not only allowed them to cover thousands of kilometers but also to forge human connections and leave a positive impact on communities along their path.

Moises Barea and Carlos Coscujuela showed that, with the right combination of passion and commitment, any obstacle can be overcome.

Even traveling 12 thousand kilometers in a 1990 hybridized car.

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