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A Long Way – Powered By The Sun

  • August 11th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

solar-taxi.jpgThe Swiss adventurer Louis Palmer has fulfilled a childhood dream with pure solar energy – applied to driving to Australia in a sun-powered car.

He and his international team want to travel the entire globe during sixteen months in their electrically powered vehicle, called the Solartaxi.

Nina Plonka had a closer look at their journey.

Starting its trip around the word, the Solartaxi has so far driven some 5800 kilometres crossing eleven European countries in the last five weeks.

Starting at Lucerne in Switzerland, it headed to Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, and through South Eastern Europe to Turkey where it has just crossed over to Asia – and in a few short weeks it will cross the Indian Ocean to Western Australia.

Louis Palmer, initiator of the adventure, has his eyes firmly fixed on his goal: 50.000 kilometres through 40 countries on five continents in 16 months, all for the sake of drawing attention to renewable energy.

On his journey, the 36-year-old will visit inventors, politicians and people who care about global warming.

“Give up fossil fuels,” he demands on his website.

“Start using new, technical solutions.”

With the trip around the globe Mr Palmer wants to demonstrate that solar energy is already suitable for every-day life and even for a special challenge like this.

The route of the Solartaxi is flexible and so is the crew.

The car and its accompanying bus will stop wherever the team is invited either to rest the night, charge the batteries or to give a multimedia presentation on their adventurous trip and the use of solar energy.

Regularly, Louis Palmer posts pictures, texts and videos about his experiences on the Solartaxi website, and he also recruits new team members for certain parts of the route.

Together with four Swiss universities and around 70 assistants Louis Palmer spent three years on developing the small three-wheel vehicle and its six square metre trailer covered with solar panels.

These will provide up to half of the needed electricity whilst the other half comes out of the mains socket and batteries.

An equivalent amount of solar energy is contributed to the power supply network in Switzerland.

References:

Solartaxi and Louis Palmer: http://www.solartaxi.com/index.php?link=start.htm (11.8.07), http://www.louispalmer.ch/sam-index.htm (11.8.07)

Spiegel Online, reise, Solar Taxi dossier: http://www.spiegel.de/reise/solartaxi (11.8.07)

Picture: Adventurer Louis Palmer (left), his crew and his dream car at Cappadocia in Turkey.

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