2008 Solartaxi Trip Europe and Asia


(from Solartaxi Press Release)  Swiss solar taxi half way round the world

On 3rd July 2007, the Swiss pioneer Louis Palmer set off from Lucerne in his solar taxi. His goal: to be the first person ever to travel round the world in a vehicle driven by solar power. And seven months to the day later, he has reached an important stage. With his arrival in Perth on 3rd March 2008 he has now been through 20 countries and covered 21146 km– half of his journey around the world.

The KKL in Lucerne provided the backdrop for Palmer’s departure from Lucerne last summer in a vehicle which had been developed as a joint venture by four Swiss universities. Since then he has crossed Europe, the Middle East, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia.

Like a Swiss watch across three continents

By his own account the solar taxi is running “like a Swiss watch”. Technical difficulties have only led to a delay of three days so far, whereas bureaucratic problems, for example with Saudi Arabia, led to a lot more time being lost: the solar taxi team had to hold out three weeks at the border. The solar taxi caused a sensation worldwide as an official taxi at the World Climate Change Conference in Bali last December when its passengers included ministers and delegates from all over the world. With this expedition, Palmer wants to make people aware of possible solutions against climate change. The solar taxi travels conventionally between the continents: by ship. For example on their way from Bali to New Zealand, the solar taxi and its crew were privileged to be guests on board the Greenpeace
flagship, RainbowWarrior. From Australia, it continued its journey to Singapore by ship.

A network of like-minded people and friends

The solar taxi is not just dependent on attention from the media and a wide public on its travels. Thanks to the global network of Presence Switzerland and the support of many Swiss embassies en route, the solar taxi benefits from a first important network. A second, equally important network of universities and solar energy enthusiasts, as well as the patronage of the UNO organization UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), ensure the expedition friendly support along its entire route.

Serious Wheels