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Swiss teacher Louis Palmer wanted to demonstrate the capabilities of solar power so he created the sun-fueled vehicle shown above. Then he set out to circumnavigate the globe. He set out from Lucerne, Switzerland last July on a year long journey that so far has carried him through Europe, the Middle East, and India. Palmer's three-wheeled, two-seater carries a taxi sign because Palmer is offering rides to anyone who's interested as he makes his trek in the Solar Taxi. This week he tooling around Bali, Indonesia while the UN holds a climate conference there. The solar taxi tows a trailer with extra solar panels bringing the total cell area up to 65 sq. ft. To date he has covered almost 9,000 miles and we'll be looking for Louis when he makes his way to the U.S. next year on his way home later in 2008.

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[Source: Reuters]


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      • 5 Years Ago
      Solar, and where that won't work, Wind to charge batteries! Most of all, we must stop being propagandized into going fast! We will have to relax into the new technologies of the 21st Century, lay back, enjoy just being alive, and do stuff like urban gardening, aquaculture and composting, all solar powered too! We must avoid fission-fires at all costs, eat less meat, and exploit solar, wind, wave, hydro, tidal, and geothermal power to the utmost! Meanwhile, changes in lifestyle and demands made, will lessen stress, and a large number of "Needs" that are not necessities for survival will fall away! Home brewing and wine-making must displace drugs and drug addiction, eating pork supplant beef, and vegetarians must be applauded, like the average Chinese person, we must take less from the exploitative corporate style western ways, and adapt to a new reality, a new economy, and non-commercialized pleasures! Life is good when you let go of slavery and choose a sane, peaceful path, and it is up to you! GM, the American gas-guzzler builder is broke! The electric cars, trucks and bikes are on the cusp of take-over. It is up to us, chose slavery to the gas pumps and planned obsolescence, annual model changes, high interest payment schemes, high insurance rip-offs, and personal poverty, or go small, eco-friendly, lower speed, electric? The change will be dramatic paradigm shift, society wide, and driven by economics, and will happen, if we just let it!
      • 7 Years Ago
      While driving any vehicle around the world on solar PV alone is an impressive feat, the project actually highlights the associated problems: high purchase cost, low power & speed, poor/no crash safety, poor comfort/space and a large footprint on the road.

      PHEVs running on renewable electricity for a fraction of total miles covered may prove more feasible technologically, but total system cost will still be very high.

      A cheaper way to leverage solar power for transportation is renewable CNG/ANG from scrubbed biogas. BTL and cellulosic ethanol are much harder to produce, but they have the advantage of being liquid. Biofuels from food crops are much more problematic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hi, did you know that 2 French teachers, Xavier CHEVRIN and Geraldine GABIN are currently cruising from Paris to Beijing on 2 electric scooters ? First time ever on two wheels, electric power is gaining field !
      You can follw their route on www.lacroisiereverte-parispkin.com
      Cheers !