Solar car “crashes” at end of round the world trip

December 4, 2008

Luckily for my colleague, photographer Kacper Pempel, this solar powered “taxi” was not going very fast when it smashed through a wall of polystyrene at the end of a 52,000 km trip around the world.

It stopped pretty much in the debris of the makeshift wall after the deliberate “crash” marking the finish outside the venue of Dec. 1-12 U.N. climate talks in Poland. (Click here for a story)

Driver Louis Palmer, a Swiss teacher (in blue, lower right), has driven through 38 nations over 17 months, the first time a solar-powered car has gone round the world. He ended the final stretch at U.N. climate talks with Yvo de Boer, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat as a passenger.

I have enjoyed following Louis’ travels. He once gave me a lift a year ago at the last U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia and the car was certainly zippier under the tropical sun than it was in mid-winter Poland.  Whatever the location the car was quite difficult to drive because of its length: it tows a flat-backed trailer covered with solar panels.

Louis says that his trip shows that the world needs more electric powered vehicles….Is this the way forward for carmakers?


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what about CO it does more hare than any co2. CO2 can essily be absorbe by plants.

Posted by dave Mc Han | Report as abusive

This is one cool dude, this teacher from Switzerland who drove around the world in a solar car to try to show us one possible path to the future without burning fossil fuels. Bravo! He deserves some kind of world prize, maybe even a Nobel. Who is he, and what motivated him to take on this amazing challenge? A very great man. And he has more trips planned next year. Bravo!

Posted by Danny Bloom | Report as abusive

Our future way of living, would be strictly depending on ‘Renewable Energy’in spite of the conventional one. It is not only for much shouted ‘polution factor’but also for the scarecity or non availibilty of coal,crude oiland natural gas that has been provided by the nature endlessly so far.The storage of those natural products are in diminishing order!The massive demand forenergy worlwide could be met how and in which process? We have to convert the the solar energy into electrical power to serve our purpose.Sun is the source of endless energy,that world can utilise in need to fulfill its demand satisfactorily.

Posted by PRANAB HAZRA | Report as abusive

intentional is it? how long the car will be charge again?

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Now if only it was practical …

Posted by Roger Frick | Report as abusive

There are very many examples of home-made electric cars on YouTube and other video sites. The motors, controllers and deep-cycle batteries are readily available and are relativly inexpensive.

Posted by Lamar Havard | Report as abusive