Solar Taxi Makes ‘Trip Around the World’
Swiss teacher Louis Palmer has been travelling the world in an effort to show off his ‘solar taxi’, a vehicle that runs on solar powered batteries hitched to the back of his car. It can travel for 180 miles on a single charge and reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.
The two-seater vehicle arrived at the UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland after completing his round-the-world trip covering nearly 40 countries.
“People love this idea of a solar car,” Mr Palmer said outside the venue of the UN climate talks. “I hope that the car industry hears…and makes electric cars in future.”
Mr Palmer said the car ran “like a Swiss clock,” breaking down only twice during the gruelling trip through 38 nations starting in Lucerne in July 2007.
Quite a number of celebrities and influential people were passengers in the cab throughout his trip, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron, the mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Monaco’s Prince Albert.
He says the prototype was extremely expensive to build, but would cost under $13,000 if mass produced, with an extra $5,000 for solar panels.
The teacher said that his next stop is home, “I promised my mother to be back before Christmas.” But he plans to arrange for six vehicles powered by such renewable sources as hydropower, geothermal and wind energy to travel the world in 80 days next year.