A Swiss teacher, Louis Palmer, has proven you can drive around the world powered by renewable energy. He completed a 17-month-round-the-world trip in a car powered primarily by solar energy in December 2008.
Palmer told the BBC that the feat proved solar power was a viable alternative to oil-based fuels.
The small blue-and-white three-wheeler tows a trailer packed with batteries charged by the sun. It can travel for 300km on a single charge and reach speeds of 90km/h (55mph).
“People love this idea of a solar car,” Palmer said. “I hope that the car industry hears…and makes electric cars in the future.”
YouTube Video of SolarTaxi in U.S.
Palmer, 36, said the car ran “like a Swiss clock,” breaking down only twice during the gruelling trip through 38 nations starting in Lucerne in July 2007.
The car runs on solar power. However Palmer also had a battery for travel at night or in less sunny nations, such as winter-time Poland, that he recharged from local electricity.
This June, Palmer plans to participate in, and run, a renewable energy race — the Zero Emissions Race — with others.