A world-record setting electric bike expedition departed from Glasgow today, kicking off a 20,000 kilometer journey to raise awareness of the impact of global climate change.

Riders for E-bike Africa left from Nelson Mandela Place this morning to begin their journey to Cape Town in South Africa to help promote sustainable solutions to the climate change problem.

Along the way, they will pull custom-built solar trailers to recharge the bikes’ batteries and allow the adventurers to be fully self-sufficient.

Organised in partnership with the project’s lead sponsor Pendelec Adventures, E-Bike Africa is the first action of new Scottish charity The Purple Heart Network.

Johanna Speirs, Chair of the charity, said: “We want environmentally sensitive, sustainable technologies to be affordable, accessible and practical for everyone in Scotland and beyond so that everyone can play a meaningful part in tackling climate change.”

The expedition will be led by the charity’s Cape Town born, Glasgow based co-founder and entrepreneur Bruce MacLeod on e-bikes provided by German e-performance brand Haibike.

On key parts of the trip, Mr MacLeod will be joined by electric bike journalist Susanne Brüsh and will visit the COP21 UN climate change conference in Paris in early December.

Starting again from Paris in February 2016, the second leg of the expedition will continue through France, Switzerland, and Italy and reach the African continent in Alexandria, Egypt.

The expedition will cross 13 countries in total and Mr MacLeod is expected to reach his home-town of Cape Town in about one year from now.

“We will visit environments and people experiencing the immediate impacts of climate change,” he said. “Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Victoria Falls and the only penguin colony in Africa at the continent’s most southern tip are iconic examples.”