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?