Since the beginning of his trip, Palmer has traveled through more than a dozen countries, including Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and China. The trip began in a visit to UC Berkeley, where demonstrations and free rides took place. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau was one of the lucky passengers to get a chauffeured ride in the Solar Taxi.
The vehicle Louis Palmer has been demonstrating is a solar-electric two-seat taxi. When the batteries are fully charged, the Solar Taxi can travel for almost 200 miles; however, on a sunny day, using additional energy gathered from the solar cells, the taxi can travel up to a distance of 260 miles. The taxi’s top speed is 60 miles per hour and it needs no gasoline whatsoever.
For the first time in history a solar-powered car has driven around the world without any carbon emissions. Palmer is taking this trip in an attempt to draw attention to the problems caused by global warming while providing solutions for oil independency. Palmer states that by the time he will finish traveling across the planet his taxi will have been to 40 different countries in five continents.
TFOT recently covered TH!NK, a fully electric car which is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/hr in less than 8.5 seconds, and the six-seater Air Car CityCat, which is equipped with a revolutionary dual-energy compressed air engine, achieving a fuel efficiency of 106 miles to the gallon. Other related TFOT stories include the Israeli project, which encourages the establishment of an extensive market for electric cars in Israel, and the prototype of the “LifeCar“, which is an aesthetic, high performance, hydrogen fuel cell, zero emission vehicle.