From Zadar to Zagreb: Environment Minister Coric Joins Nikola Tesla EV Rally

By 10 June 2018

June 10, 2018 - The 2018 Nikola Tesla EV Rally reaches Zagreb, as Minister for the Environment and Energy Tomislav Coric joins the rally at the birthplace of Nikola Tesla. 

The Nikola Tesla EV Rally 2018 continued yesterday on its final full day of driving, leaving from Falkensteiner Iadera near Zadar, destination the main square of Ban Jelacic in Zagreb.  


Iadera, part of the Falkensteiner Punta Skala resort, which is the biggest resort investment on Croatia's Adriatic, is a new addition to the Nikola Tesla EV Rally itinerary but one which has been much appreciated by the rally participants. 


A key element of the rally is relaxation and enjoying the beauty that Croatia has to offer, and the two-night stay at Falkensteiner proved to be the perfect solution for the middle of the rally. While several rally participants went on a boat trip to the Kornati Islands and the famous salt works of Nin, others preferred to lounge at the beach or by the pool, while taking advantage of the biggest spa facilities on the Adriatic. 


But, as comfortable as it was, the rally must continue, with the next stop one of the great symbols of the rally and e-mobility in general - Smiljan, the birthplace of Nikola Tesla himself. 


When the idea of the Nikola Tesla EV Rally was conceived in early 2014, there were just four charging stations and five electric cars registered in all Croatia. Today the rally is in its fifth year, and through the efforts of the rally organisers and their core e-mobility business, there are now more than 300 charging stations all over the country, about 170 of which are as a direct result of the efforts and investments of the company of organisers Igor and Tina Kolovrat, E.V.A. Blue. These include a charging station donated by the couple at the birthplace of Nikola Tesla, a great symbolic gesture, as well as a very practical one for electric car drivers visiting this very underutilised tourist brand for Croatia. 


A key component of the rally is education. In order to change the world and attitude to e-mobility, one must first start with changing minds, and there has been a steady stream of interest from locals wherever the rally has turned up. An extra bonus for this school trip to Smiljan, and a chance to check out the renewable energy transport solutions of the future at the birthplace of the man who truly changed the world.  


A mandatory photo at the statue of Tesla in front of his house - the dream team from Rally Car Number 69.  


There has been a marked increase in media coverage this year, both national and international, including an Austrian press team who have taken part in the entire rally. Even more encouraging for the profile of the rally, but more importantly for the bigger goal of expanding e-mobility infrastructure in Croatia, Minister of the Environment and Energy Tomislav Coric took part in the rally from Smiljan to Plitvice Lakes, the first time a minister has taken part in the rally. Coric drove with race organiser Igor Kolovrat, allowing them time to discuss both the rally and plans to move the e-revolution along in Croatia. 


The rally has been superbly organised every year for the three in which I have taken part. Police escorts, chartered ferries, the overnight charging of 50 electric cars on Croatian islands, with a nicely paced itinerary packed full of tourist wonders which is strictly kept to. In a first-world country, what the organisers pull off year on year would be impressive indeed, but in Croatia, it is nothing short of sensational.

But not everything always goes according to plan...  


A traffic accident from Smiljan to the supercharging station at Otocac closed the road as the emergency services dealt with what looked like a serious incident. Someone local knew a way around the blocked road.  


It was not a road built for a Tesla Roadster... but after a little delay, the problems were solved and the rally was back on track. 


One more supercharging station - the infrastructure is expanding, and what has been achieved in just 4.5 years is highly commendable. The 2019 rally will push into Montenegro for the first time, as the rally organisers continue to push the infrastructure east from the comfort zone of Western Europe.


One final stop before Zagreb, and arguably Croatia's greatest natural wonder, UNESCO World Heritage Site Plitvice Lakes, which was said to have also inspired Tesla and his later achievements at Niagara Falls. 


And almost a week after starting from Rovinj, arrival on the main square of Ban Jelacic.


Where a large portion of the rally vehicles parked up last night, ahead of the bigger presentation today from 09:00 to 11:00.

Another high-quality day in this outstanding luxury tourism event. 

Learn more about the Nikola Tesla EV Rally here