AROUND THE WORLD IN A SOLAR POWERED CAR

Chris Grad - Jan 27, 2009
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Being green is in these days. People are increasingly interested in “carbon free” transport and environmentally friendly traveling. Tourism businesses exploit this demand in various ways. A Swiss adventurer recently expressed his opinion on the issue in a remarkable way.

A Swiss teacher Louis Palmer was the first person in the world who traveled around the world using a solar car. Mr. Palmer traveled through 5 continents and 38 countries in his blue and white three-wheeled solar powered car. The journey took him some 17 months and during the trip the solar taxi proved to be a very reliable machine as it broke down only twice.

The vehicle towed a trailer with 6 square meters of solar panels; these two parts together weight 750 kg. In less sunny regions of our planet the solar taxi batteries had to be recharged from local electricity sources. At top speed it reaches the speed of 90 km per hour. According to Mr. Palmer, the car burns the equivalent energy of less than 1 liter /100 km of petrol. Other remarkable advantage of the car is that it is very quiet. The vehicle is quite expensive, but the adventurer says, if mass produced it could cost €10,000, with an extra €4,000 for solar panels.

Mr. Palmer hopes his journey will inspire carmakers to build more environmentally friendly models. He also points out that it took billions of years to transform carbon to oil, gas and coal but it will only take fragment of that time to emit most of this CO2 to the atmosphere with our current approach. He calls for a switch to new technical solutions. Mr. Palmer also believes that the switch would create new jobs. He also thinks about a new journey around the world with six vehicles that would use energy from renewable sources.

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