Solar Taxi hype

Louis Palmer
PR snow job

Its called the Solar Taxi, but that is just its name. Its not a taxi and it does not run exclusively on solar power.

Louis Palmer wants to be the first man to drive around the world in a solar-powered car. He started the SolarTaxi project, which aims to circumvent the globe, meeting politicians and policy makers as they go. “With the power of the sun around the world – stop global warming! 40.000 km… 40 countries… 14 months…”

The team will head off on the 3rd of July from Lucerne in Switzerland. Palmer has previously tested the car out on a relatively short dash to Spain, he told Treehugger, a round-trip of 3,000 km.

Only one problem – the car would never get round the world on solar power alone. “The Solartaxi is an electric vehicle with a five meter long solar trailer covered with 6 m2 of solar cells. This electricity is being stored in a newly invented ZEBRA battery,” says the web site blurb – note the discreet dropping of the sponsors name.

” so we can drive even at night, without any sunshine. These solar cells on the trailer produce enough electricity to make up to 100 km a day. ”

Why do you have to drive at night to drive 100km a day?

“If we need to drive more than 100 km a day, we need to charge more solar power in our battery. For this, we have a solar power plant on a rooftop in Berne, Switzerland. ”

A Solar panel you mean?

NO a power pant. “That electricity is being fed into the grid, offsetting electricity generated by using fossil fuels. It’s like bringing money on a bank account and getting the money back in our purse somewhere else: We feed solar electricity into the grid and feed it in our battery anywhere in the world, from the grid. If all cars in the world were powered this way, cars wouldn’t cause global warming!

The Solartaxi shows the way how it is possible with 9 m2 of solar cells on a rooftop to produce enough electricity for driving 15’000 km a year!”

Hmm. Well maybe.

The group, they’re currently looking to arrange visits on their way around the world. “Organise our visit in your town! We are looking for organisors and people who help us when we arrive. Give us a place to stay, organise the media, organise a school in your neighbourhood that we can visit or come to one of our events! ”

We would not want them in our house.

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