Solar-Powered Car Goes Around The World

A special vehicle pulled up the climate talks at the U.N. in Poland on Thursday. It wasn’t a limo, it wasn’t one of those tricked out Suburbans carrying a diplomat…..it was a solar powered car. The first ever solar-powered car to travel around the world.

“This is the first time in history that a solar-powered car has traveled all the way around the world without using a single drop of petrol,” said Louis Palmer, the 36-year-old Swiss schoolteacher and adventurer who made the trip.

The small two-seater, hauling a trailer of solar cells, can travel noiselessly up to 55 mph and drive up to 185 miles on a single battery charge.

Palmer began his journey in the car 17 months ago in Switzerland, and travelled through 38 countries. He calls his vehicle, which was developed by scientists at Swiss universities, a “solar taxi” because he has given rides to about 1,000 people — officials and regular folk alike — to convince them of the technology’s viability.

The message of the car is to show that clean technologies are available to help cut off global warming. Delegates at the climate talks hope to finalize a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocal, and hope to have the new treaty finalized by the end of 2009.

“Here at the conference, we are talking about reducing emissions by 10 or 20 percent,” Palmer said. “I want to show that we can reduce emissions by 100 percent — and that’s what we need for the future.”

Read more at Oh, For The Love Of Science!

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