What started in 2004 as an idea to spread awareness about the reliability and affordability of renewable energy has now turned into a full-blown ‘Green’ race around the world: The Zero Emissions Race.
Louis Palmer, founder of the Zero Emissions Race, first began to spread his message when he drove a solar-powered vehicle around the world by himself in 534 days starting in July of 2007. This project, called SolarTaxi, took Palmer on a 50,000 km journey through forty different countries over the course of eighteen months. When Palmer returned to his starting point of Lucerne, Switzerland, in December of 2008, he became the first person ever to drive a solar-powered car all the way around the world.
Today, Palmer has taken his idea of solar-charged driving races to the next level. With the Zero Emissions Race, Palmer has invited drivers from all over the world to drive their own car around the world. The only condition is that the energy used by each electric vehicle be offset by the generation of electricity via renewable energy forms (sun, wind, wave, geothermal, etc.) at designated production facilities in the racers’ home countries.
Race began Aug. 16, 2010
The First Annual Zero Emissions race began on Aug. 16, 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland and headed east. The cars stopped in Berlin on Aug. 25. There, they participated in an electric car parade, with a total of 36 vehicles, including the zero-emissions race cars, down the city’s streets. Sept. 14 marked the 30th day of the race with the vehicles arriving in Kazakhstan at this time.
There are four teams participating in Palmer’s Zero Emissions Race. One of these teams is the Orlikon Solar Racing Team originating from Winterthur, Switzerland, driving the ‘zerotracer.’ Tobias Wuelser, , who strongly advocates for the creation of electric vehicles with appealing design, heads the Zerotracer team. Also on the Zerotracer team is Frank Loacker.
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Another team is the Power Plaza team from Seoul, South Korea, driving the Power Plaza EV. This team, which is composed of five designers, engineers, and passionate electric vehicle drivers, is sponsored by the South Korean company PowerPlaza, which manufactures industrial power supplies and converters. The PowerPlaza team is lead by Jungeun Suh.
A third team participating in the race around the world is Team Trev, from Adelaide, Australia, driving the TREV (the Two seater Renewable Energy Vehicle), and is composed of a large group of electric vehicle enthusiasts. They have said they consider the Zero Emissions Race a wonderful opportunity to show the world how clean, light, and simple electric vehicles can be.
A fourth team to participate is the Vectrix Team from Berlin, Germany, composed of six sustainability enthusiasts who want to drive into the future in a green, sustainable, electric car.
The four teams have covered 9,500 kilometers in four weeks, and continue to head east around the World. They are currently on the border between Kazhakstan and China.
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